Last year was a particularly strong year for the UK holiday and home park market, which encompasses touring parks, holiday static parks and residential parks. This was driven predominantly by domestic investment as the popularity of staycations continued to increase. According to research from Ortus Secured Finance, turnover at the 100 largest holiday parks was up 9 per cent from £2.46 billion in 2012 to £2.7 billion last year.
Savills sold over 30 parks in 2017 and we estimate that the total number of independently owned park transactions last year to be in the region of 90 to 120. As a result there have been positive signs of continued growth in terms of value. The average ‘per pitch’ value has steadily risen across the board since 2014; this is particularly noticeable in the residential park value which has risen from £23,000 to £31,000. With values rising and the growing popularity of the market, what does 2018 hold for the sector?
It’s difficult to predict the future, as the uncertainty of the outcome of the EU referendum and the ensuing economic reaction looms in the background. With lenders keen to lend, there are still plenty of tempting rates to attract borrowers, thus ensuring a continued demand for assets. However, there may be an imbalance between supply and demand in 2018, with a lack of parks on the open market. This lack of supply was initially felt in 2017 as the balance tipped towards a seller’s market, resulting in an increase in off-market transactions and a number of buyers competing for the same property.
We predict that sites with redevelopment potential will become increasingly popular in 2018 as luxury parks across the UK have experienced increased demand from tourists. Consequently, holiday park-owners are improving the quality of their units, thus fueling the demand for sites with redevelopment potential. UK holiday caravan manufacturers are also reporting significant increases in the number of units being made to satisfy demand.
With the strong market experienced in 2017, and no foreseeable slowing down of demand from both investors and visitors to sites, we’re confident that 2018 will be another good year for the sector.