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Where are Brits buying holiday homes?

Nearly 40% of British holidaymakers have the funds to buy a holiday home and plan to do so in 2019, according to research carried out by Away Resorts, a UK holiday park operator.

And a perhaps surprising number are opting for staycations rather than a holiday abroad in the sun. Staycations are on the rise and, in some cases, people are enjoying them so much they are looking into buying a holiday home on home soil.

The study by Away Resorts Caravan Sales unveiled three surprising trends which are shaping the decisions people are making around buying a holiday home.

Buying for a better work/life balance

With a quarter of Brits now working over 40 hours a week, time to plan extended holidays abroad is in short supply. And it appears people are becoming tired of the stress involved with holidaying abroad.

Research on the rise of British staycations, carried out by outdoor retailer Go Outdoors, saw 87% of respondents say that fresh air and less travel stress left them feeling happier compared to planning a getaway abroad. What’s more, a third said they slept better on a domestic holiday.

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of those polled said they felt more connected to their families when they holidayed in the UK.

“How many times have you flown back from a holiday, got home and said, ‘I could do with a holiday’. It is healthier for you and for your bank balance to staycation,” Ian Mackintosh, of Go Outdoors, said.

In contrast to a holiday home abroad, purchasing one in Britain means people can factor in shorter, more regular breaks thanks to a shorter geographical distance and greater ease of access. Additionally, spontaneous family weekend trips could be made more achievable with a bolthole on home soil.

Brexit forces the hands of buyers

Where are Brits buying holiday homes?

More than a quarter of Brits are now scrambling to buy a holiday home before Brexit occurs, the Away Resorts survey found.

With plenty of uncertainty surrounding how the housing market will be impacted once the UK finally withdraws from the European Union, it’s perhaps little surprise that many British buyers are eager to secure their perfect holiday home before  March 29 2019 hits, even if the prospect of the Brexit date being delayed has recently become a much bigger likelihood.   

“After Brexit, property prices could continue to rise in parts of the country and, even if we crash out with no deal, this may have no impact on house prices,” Matt Burrows, an estate agent in the South West of the UK, said.

One unforeseen consequence of Brexit has been a significant rise in staycations, with bookings rising by 28% last year.

Cornwall, often viewed as one of the jewels in the crown of English tourism, is one location that’s especially noticed a surge, with some areas seeing a 30% increase in bookings.

The region, famed for its scenery, cuisine and fishing heritage, was also voted as the most desirable location in which to have a holiday home in the Away Resorts survey. However, Cornwall is one of the regions facing the biggest issues with second and holiday home ownership, with action taken in recent years by a number of Cornish towns to limit the problems it has caused.

In 2016, a referendum held in St Ives saw more than 80% of residents vote to reserve new homes for full-time residents only. The ban was upheld later that year by the High Court.

Despite the hostility towards second home owners, 26% of participants in the Away Resorts study want a holiday home in the South West, closely followed by the South East with 16%.

The rising popularity of caravans and lodges

Where are Brits buying holiday homes?

The majority (37%) of those polled in the Away Resorts survey voted caravans and lodges as their preferred choice of holiday home, beating bricks-and-mortar style choices such as flats and houses.

Some predict huge growth in the number of caravan and motor homes in the next few years, with analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) – commissioned by the Caravan and Motorhome Club in 2017 – finding that the number in use could rise to 807,000 by 2022, and up to 889,000 by 2030.

One of the main reasons for this growth could be the wide variety of activities that are available in holiday parks, with caravans and lodges in these locations offering a wide variety of extras and on-site entertainment that a bricks-and-mortar property rarely provides. This might persuade people to purchase a lodge or caravan as a holiday home rather than a house or flat with poor access to activities and entertainment.

Things might change once the outcome of Brexit becomes clearer, but for now staycations are having their moment in the sun – with caravans and lodges in particularly high demand.  

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