James Fisher, Property & News Editor, Country Life
Richard Speedy –Head of South West Region, Strutt & Parker
Kevin Maley: Head of Residential Agency Scotland, Strutt & Parker
Rebecca Shafran: Associate director in Research – Alternatives Markets, BNP Paribas Real Estate
With many Brits opting for a Staycation this year, holiday homes and short-lets have seen demand like never before across the country. What’s more, with many discovering the delights of what the UK has to offer, holiday-goers are considering investing in their own property in hotspots like Devon, the Cotswolds and beyond.
Levels of hotel occupancy in holiday locations across the UK were incredibly high this summer, with many people choosing to stay closer to home for their summer break due to travel restrictions and fuelled by the promise of good weather. In Plymouth, hotels were at 90% occupancy in August, in Bournemouth they were at 85% and in Inverness, the figure was 77%.
Stay-at-home holiday makers also drove a huge surge in holiday lets. Strutt & Parker’s Exeter office has had a fantastic summer which exceeded all expectations, having sold more than 25% more homes this year than in 2019 already, despite COVID-19. These sales have been a combination of first and second homes, with many families migrating from the Home Counties.
The property market in Scotland was slower to come out of lockdown than England and Wales, only re-opening on 29th June. However, since then Strutt & Parker’s Inverness office has reported a huge rise in new potential buyers from London and other British cities, perhaps romantically looking to The Highlands for their next home or a peaceful and remote second home in which to spend their holidays. Buyers have been attracted to the area’s beautiful scenery, outdoorsy lifestyle and slower pace of life.
These types of purchases are not the only on-trend property investments. This episode of the ‘Be InSPired’ podcast also takes a look at the Buy to Let market and university housing, and specifically how COVID-19 has affected their supply and demand.