Working From Home (WFH) because of COVID-19 has transformed the traditional working week. For many, the daily grind of commuting from Monday to Friday has been replaced with remote working.
The impact on office life has been highly visible and ubiquitous. Less immediately obvious, but nevertheless hugely significant in the long term, is the impact of WFH upon the traditional weekend.
Weekdays spent commuting tended to be followed by weekends relaxing at home and locally. WFH has instead meant that for some ‘cabin fever’ is setting in by Friday evening and they want a change of scenery.
With remote working looking set to continue in some form, even now a vaccine programme is underway, it seems logical that the desire to get away at weekends will continue and even surge in popularity.
The desire to feel safe from COVID-19 is also likely to persist, given that the Government has issued advice to “continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection”, and is also emphasising the importance of good ventilation in reducing the spread.
Within this context, holiday parks are likely to become popular locations for weekend breaks. This will build upon the strong trade already enjoyed in 2020 by the sector because much of its holiday accommodation is socially distanced by design.
Investors and developers have clearly noted this, and the UK Parks team at Colliers International has seen a three-fold increase in enquiries from potential purchasers.
We expect there will be a continued appetite from buyers, particularly those with an existing sector presence. Holiday parks offer the fundamentals of an asset-backed trading entity with the relative security of consistent pitch fee income. This is alongside strong holiday home sales and a strong demand for domestic holidays.
Before the pandemic, the holiday parks sector had shaken off its old ‘Hi-de-Hi!’ image as affordable holiday accommodation and had been benefitting from the trend for staycations in high-quality caravans and lodges, and in more quirky accommodation such as yurts.
The pandemic has emphatically reinforced that popularity, and the WFH effect on weekends will bring a new dimension as more people seek a quick getaway to somewhere such as a luxury lodge in an idyllic rural setting.
About the Author
Richard Moss is the Head of UK Parks Agency for Colliers International. He has 15 years of experience in the sale and valuation of holiday parks, and is recognised as one of the leading agents in this specialist field
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