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The rise of the staycation and new opportunities for second-home buyers

Words by Kate Eales

A holiday offers the perfect opportunity to escape the pressures and demands of our everyday routines and take time to indulge in a little of what makes us smile. This year, when many would now be preparing for holidays abroad, travel restrictions across the globe are compelling us to trade in our foreign summer getaways for something a little closer to home. Yet while the world of travel looks and feels very different, British vacationers are adapting in a variety of positive ways. Trends even suggest that many of us are being converted by the staycation experience, with an increasing number of British homebuyers looking to invest in staycation properties. So what is it about the British staycation that is seducing us so completely, and what new opportunities do these trends present for movers and second-home buyers?

The changing face of travel

Before the coronavirus pandemic, many of us wouldn’t even have considered keeping our vacations within the UK. Indeed, the number of British people seeking respite in foreign holidays has been increasing steadily since 2012. In 2019, 72.6 million trips were taken overseas, with Spain, France and Italy being the favoured destination spots for enjoying some summer sun. This year, however, the travel landscape has been quite understandably overturned. Booking Holdings, owners of booking.com, priceline.com, kayak.com, cheapflights, momondo.com and many other popular holiday booking sites, have predicted a 15% drop in annual bookings for 2020. Meanwhile, more than half (57%) of British people are planning to take domestic vacations. There is little doubt therefore, that the way we think about holidays is set for a substantial change. So, what are the advantages of British staycations and might they be worth investing in as a long-term alternative to holidays overseas?

An ode to the staycation

Of all the prospective reasons to have a holiday closer to home, convenience is the most apparent. From reducing travel time, to the added ease of transporting luggage and keeping young children in check, being able to reach your destination by car has the undoubted benefit of taking some of the stress out of travel.

Supporting the local economy is another reason British people may feel they want to keep their vacations within the UK. According to research by Mastercard, 69% of British consumers are striving to spend their money within their local communities post-lockdown, supporting the recovery of independent and British-owned businesses. According to Travelodge, the UK economy could see a boost of up to £31 billion on account of people choosing to holiday on UK shores, making a staycation one of the most significant ways British people can look to support economic growth after lockdown.

Meanwhile, a renewed commitment to sustainability and our environmental future offers a longer-term motivation for holidaying on British soil, with nearly half (48%) of people saying lockdown has inspired them to re-evaluate the way they think about sustainability.

While the moral dilemma of air travel has certainly been simmering over the past few years, it is apparent that the tangible effects of cutting our carbon footprints could finally lead to real change in the distances we are prepared to travel.

New opportunities for second homebuyers

On 8th July 2020, the Chancellor announced that home buyers can now benefit from a temporary cut in Stamp Duty, offering new opportunities for those looking to relocate. For second-home buyers, the temporary cut could allow for thousands of pounds in savings, making the purchase of second homes or holiday homes within the UK more possible for those who may now be considering an investment in a home-away-from-home. The lower Stamp Duty rates will last until March 31st 2021 and apply to homes purchased in England and Northern Ireland.

Looking to the future

Whether the shift from overseas excursions to the British countryside and coast will continue, is, of course, impossible to predict.

However, Kate Eales, Head of Regional Residential Agency at Strutt & Parker, feels quietly optimistic about the new enthusiasm for British staycations.

“I do think it’s a trend that’s here to stay,” she says. “We’re seeing a huge rise in people looking for second homes to staycation in.

“I think a lot of people are, after doing it once, realising how much more relaxing it is not to have to sit in an airport and worry about packing allowances and insurance.

It’s making people think: ‘Oh, well. Maybe I should just buy somewhere!’”

Our pick of properties currently on the market that would make the perfect second-home:

Shearwater, Portwrinkle, Cornwall - An exceptional property for a multitude of reasons, Shearwater offers five bedrooms, open plan living space, a roof terrace and extensive sea views. The property is presented to an exemplary standard with high specification fittings throughout including a hot tub, private lift, underfloor heating, zone controlled automatic lighting and sea facing balconies.

Higher Ley, Slapton, Devon Designed to maximise views over the sea, Higher Ley offers stunning open plan "beachhouse" style accommodation. The property dates back originally to the 1930’s and was extensively extended in 2000 adding a terrace, garages and workshop rooms.

The Cart Lodges, Sedgeford Norfolk - The Cart Lodges is a spacious detached barn conversion situated in a delightful riverside position location in the popular North Norfolk village of Sedgeford, just inland from the North Norfolk coast. Constructed of timber frame with brick and timber clad elevations under pantile roof, the barn is deceptively large inside and was converted by the current owners in the late 1990s.


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