Well the winner is Horsham in West Sussex
According to a new survey by Holidaycottages.com, holiday cottages in the South East proved the most profitable with rental yields of 11.3 per cent and an annual house price increase of 12.2 per cent.
Properties in the East, East Midlands and South West were ranked second, third and fourth respectively.
It then looked more closely at profitability of holiday cottages of counties, and found that after West Sussex, the Isle of Wight had the highest investment index, followed by Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
The website calculated rental yields by assuming the cottages would be rented out for 20 weeks every year, would pay a 30 per cent commission to an agency and would sleep six to ten people – the most common category.
A new range of luxury breaks designed to appeal to holiday park customers looking for that little bit extra has been unveiled as the latest specialist innovation from domestic holiday brand Hoseasons.
Due to launch at the start of next year, Bouja will offer families, friends and couples the very best in affordable luxury getaways at six stunning countryside and coastal locations across Devon, Wales and Hampshire.
With hot tubs at each location and every holiday home featuring a deck, patio or private garden, as well as a flat-screen TV with iPod docking station, Hoseasons managing director, Simon Altham, said Bouja breaks will set a new quality standard when it comes to great value UK holidays.
As the UK self catering market gets more competitive the larger brands are investing heavily to bring affordable luxury to a wider market
Top quality towels, linens and mattresses come as standard on a Bouja break, as do contemporary interiors, chunky outdoor beanbags and games consoles.
Barbeques are also included where available, and all Bouja customers will receive a complimentary welcome pack and personal greeting.
Bike hire, nature trails, and great quality bistros and restaurants will all be offered nearby, while quirkier style ‘amazing spaces’ will be provided by the designer Bouja Boutique – an extension to the range featuring accommodation such as beach-hut-style coastal lodges.
New restrictions on self-catering accommodation could push up the cost of holidays to dozens of popular European destinations, travellers have been warned.
Authorities in Germany, Spain and France are considering new laws to prevent homeowners from renting out their properties on short-term contracts. As well as forcing thousands of holidaymakers to opt for more expensive hotel accommodation, the proposals may also prevent many Britons from letting out their overseas apartments.
In Spain, hotels are pushing for new laws to push out holiday rentals all together, with a campaign call ‘not for rent’ a campaign against holiday rentals.
Airbnb is planning to extend its offering beyond spare room, flat or house rentals to offer city tours and experiences.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, CEO Brian Chesky said he wants Airbnb to be seen as a hospitality brand, rather than simply a site for cheap rooms.
“We think there’s huge opportunities for other services on top of accommodation. If I’m coming to London, what do I do in London? We think we have an opportunity to enhance your trip and enhance your experience,” he said.
It is expected that the new service would allow locals to sell tours and other experiences, although the plans are still under development.
Airbnb has grown massively since it was founded in 2008. In London alone, there are now 13,000 Airbnb listings, making it an ever growing competitor to the hotel and B&B industry in the capital.
However, the British Hospitality Association has voiced its concerns over Airbnb.
“We are very concerned that large numbers of private homes are being let on a semi or even permanent basis to tourists because it’s unlikely that any of these properties have ever had any fire risk or health and safety checks,” said Jackie Grech, legal and policy director at the BHA
Chesky agreed that there needs to be new laws to regulate individuals in the ‘sharing economy’.
Holiday home owners who ignore improvements, put off general repairs and don’t bother to update old décor risk are risking getting a much lower price should they decided to sell, it is claimed.
A study of 2,000 holiday home owners in advance of the annual post summer rush to sell holiday homes, has found that 53% of British holiday home owners have a lackadaisical attitude towards maintenance of their property compared with a more house proud approach to their main home.
‘The allure of time away from the grind for the quarter of a million Brits who own holiday homes in the UK and beyond, means the usual keeping up with the Jones behaviour is abandoned, and household snags that would usually irritate at home, are overlooked,’ said John Candia, chief executive officer of online property portal the iProperty Company which carried out the survey.
While 100% of participants said they bought their holiday home with every intention of improving it, some 79% admitted they hadn’t so much as picked up a paintbrush since their first holiday even although 58% said that they visit their holiday home at least four times a year with some going as often as once a month.
Top household horrors overlooked included broken toilets, floral carpets, mismatched sofas, leaking taps and avocado bathroom suites. Other décor faux pas that have slipped down the priority list include net curtains, odd and novelty crockery and flocked wallpaper. A typical holiday sloth is also guilty of having out of date tinned foods in their holiday home and will rarely wash up straight after a meal, dust shelves or mow the lawn.
Nearly a quarter of respondents admitted to having ignored light bulbs that needed changing, 33% said their homes needed a lick of paint and 67% revealed missing doorknobs and/or handles on drawers.
Top reasons for such apathy given by survey participants were wanting to do nothing while on their hard earned break, the reduced threat of an uninvited visitor and continual procrastination leading to a next time we will do it type of attitude.
Those who plan on selling should have a major clear out and consider redecorating as well as using professional cleaners as this will add significant sales value if you can´t face doing it yourself. Also, holiday homes tend to end up as depository for ugly and unwanted items and owners should be ruthless.
Its is the perfect time to look at investing in rural holiday homes but part of that investment has to be the time to become part of the community that the property you buy is located in.
It is only until recently that second home owners have left community villages like ghost towns in winter when the DFL’s (down from London) leave their properties empty until summer and this naturally caused resentment amongst locals.
According to the Daily Telegraph, owners would whizz down on a Friday night and then back on a Monday morning contributing nothing to the village growth, future or community.
They dressed all wrong, they flashed their cash, they spoke Estuary English at the top of their voices, and they couldn’t tell one end of a cow from another. In a word, they were a menace. All that may now be changing, however. The grumbling has not completely stopped, but there now seems to be a more widespread acceptance that people owning second homes are a fact of modern life, and not an exclusively West Country problem.
“I have lived in the West Country for 15 years and in my experience the majority of locals appreciate the contribution that second-home owners make to the economy,” says Edward Heaton of Heaton and Partners. “But there is certainly a small but vociferous minority who object to the fact that they are being priced out of the villages in which they grew up and forced to move to bigger towns and cities such as Plymouth.”
The further west you go, the more vociferous that resentful majority becomes, says Heaton. A mere whisper of dissatisfaction in Wiltshire becomes something of a rant in Penzance. Indeed, local misgivings about second-home owners came to a head in 2012, when Cornwall county council became the first in the country to scrap council tax discounts for second homes.
It also introduced an additional tax on homes that had stood empty for two years.
In a county often referred to as the second-home capital of Britain, this stance was understandable. Some five per cent of those resident in Cornwall are second-home owners, according to a 2011 census. But this figure rockets in the most sought-after coastal villages. In the parish of St Minver Lowlands, near Rock, for instance, second-home owners account for 41.9 per cent of the population.
Some of the resulting social problems – notably the distortion of the local housing market – were well documented. So why not hit these well-off outsiders where it hurts – in the pocket?
But even in Cornwall, attitudes seem to be softening. From Newquay to Truro, there is a tacit acknowledgement that demonising second-home owners is ridiculous and self-defeating. After all, the biggest concentration of holiday homes in Britain is to be found not in Cornwall, but in London. And they themselves have also done their bit, making more effort to be immersed in their local communities.
“The high number of second-home owners did cause some angst for permanent residents, particularly when, say, post offices had to be closed because the villages were so quiet in the winter months,” says Duncan Ley of Humberts in Truro.
“But more recently, owners have become conscious of the stigma attached to them. They have made more effort to involve themselves in their villages and be contributors to the area, rather than just beneficiaries.”
Nigel Stubbs, director of Jackson-Stops and Staff in Truro, has also noticed a change in attitudes. “The buyers who stick out and have difficulty assimilating into their communities tend to be the ones who buy multimillion-pound properties on the outskirts of villages, or on the waterfront.
“The ones who integrate better are the people who buy with a view to moving to the area permanently in later life. It is in their interest to put down stable roots and play an active part in the community.”
One of the greatest concentrations of holiday homes in Cornwall is in the picturesque fishing village of Mousehole. Once a backwater, it is now becoming a cosmopolitan community, so much so that it has been likened to fashionable Padstow, in the north of the county.
Dylan Thomas spent his honeymoon in the Lobster Pot in Mousehole in the Thirties and no doubt drank the village dry. But times have changed. The hotel, where David Bowie once stayed, has been converted into luxury apartments – typifying what some would regard as the malign impact of holiday homes.
For administrative purposes, Mousehole is in the parish of Penzance, so the proportion of second homes is notionally only around five per cent, the average for the county. But in the heart of the village, it is very much higher – not that all the locals seem to be complaining.
“There was certainly a time when Mousehole had suffered because of the surfeit of holiday-home owners, but you wouldn’t say that today,” says David Marshall of Marshall’s estate agents. “What has been gratifying has been the way year-round living has slowly returned to the village.”
Phoenix Cottage, on the market for £289,950, is typical of the present crop of Mousehole properties. “The current owners have used it for holiday lets, andit has been renovated with that in mind,” says Marshall.
“Some of these houses letfor 40 or more weeks a year, so they can be good investments.But there has been a definite trend towards second homesthat are semi-permanent residences.”
To an extent, the two markets overlap. Many owners derive some rental income from their properties without necessarily viewing them as full-time buy-to-let investments. But the balance is shifting.
With more people working from home, at least part of the time, the old straitjacket of Monday-to-Friday jobs has been relaxed. “We see people whose main place of work may be London, but who are able to spend three or four days a week in Cornwall,” adds Marshall. “That affects the way they view the locals – and the way the locals view them.”
The challenges facing second-home owners in Cornwall are replicated across the West Country. And, everywhere, the second-home owners raising fewest hackles are the ones who make the most visible commitment to the area.
Kevin Underwood of Webbers in Barnstaple has seen an upsurge in what he calls “stepping stone” buyers. These are people moving in, getting a feel for the area and, after a period as semi-residents, converting their second home into their main home.
“They connect with their communities and build up a network of genuine friends. It is clear to me that this trend has accelerated in the last few years. More and more purchasers are determined to make a positive contribution to the area and support local businesses.”
Underwood cites a Midlands-based developer who bought a large property in Woolacombe, on the north Devon coast, and converted it into apartments, using local builders.
With the property market in the West Country recovering, interest in second homes seems likely to be on the increase. And, unlike 10 or 15 years ago, buyers from outside the area need no longer feel they are entering bandit country, likely to attract scowls from the locals.
All they will need, if they want to win acceptance, is patience, tact and a healthy dose of realism.
Londoner Georgina Clark has just bought a weekend retreat in Tisbury, Wiltshire, and has no illusions that she will be welcomed with open arms everywhere she goes.
“Yes, holiday-home owners are good for local businesses and we boost the turnover of pubs and restaurants. But then sometimes the pubs put their prices up, which the locals sometimes resent.”
Luckily, Georgina has local roots, and her parents live nearby, so she will have no trouble fading into the background. And for anyone contemplating buyinga second home in the West Country, she has one bit of advice: “If you bought a second homein France, you would need to speak French if you wanted toget on the right side of your neighbours.
“The same principle applies in Wiltshire, where the locals use the dialect word ‘grockles’ to describe non-locals. Just go into the village shop, smile sweetly and say, ‘Don’t worry, I’m not a grockle,’ and you will be all right.”
A majority of UK consumers admit that hotels or self catering properties not offering internet connectivity are no longer an option, according to recent research.
The study, carried out by One Poll on behalf of ESET in July 2014, examined the attitudes of 1000 employed UK consumers and revealed that over a third would determine their choice based on WiFi. This is driven by a need to check emails and keep in touch with the office while away.
The findings revealed that 44 % of respondents are likely to take their work-enabled mobile device on holiday this year and that over a fifth will be checking their work emails on a daily basis. Despite these findings, 36% of respondents admitted that checking emails will actually make them feel more stressed, rather than relaxed during their break.
The survey also revealed that 67% of respondents will carry work-related data on the mobile device they take on holiday. However over a third admit to having no security on the device what-so-ever to protect the data.
In addition to this, 35% admitted that they don’t check or care if the WiFi network they connect to while on holiday is secure and private. This could ultimately put corporate data at risk of cybercriminals and theft.
The Daily Telegraph report this week that thousands of customers are being turned away from hotels and self catering accommodation because there is not enough suitable rooms to meet the demand.
According to the Daily Telegraph, disabled people are not holidaying at home because not enough of Britain’s tourist attractions are wheelchair accessible, according to a Government-backed study.
It found thousands of customers who were planning ‘staycations’ were being turned away from hotels and self-catering accommodation because there are not enough suitable rooms to meet demand.
Research published by the Department for Work and Pensions today found travel companies said it was easier to arrange holidays for disabled people overseas than in Britain.
Two thirds of Britain’s top 100 tourist attractions were not fully wheelchair accessible and little more than one in ten said all staff receive disability awareness training, according to Vitalise, a respite charity.
Mark Harper, the minister for Disabled People, said: “Everyone needs and deserves to enjoy a summer holiday – and people with disabilities are no exception. I’m calling on everyone in the British tourist industry to look at what more they can do to better cater for disabled travellers.”
Eleven million people in Britain – with an estimated combined spending power of £80billion – have a disability, he said. Research also showed that disabled people tended to stay longer on holiday than able-bodied people.
Mr Harper added: “So, as part of our long-term economic plan, improving the accessibility of hotels and self-catering apartments and tourist attractions for disabled travellers is a no-brainer.”
The Disability Holiday Directory, Britain’s biggest disabled holiday company, said it was unable to accommodate 20 per cent of its clients looking to holiday in the UK every year because of a shortage of accessible accommodation.
Accommodation was particularly hard to come by for disabled people in coastal areas like Devon and Cornwall where half of those with a disability were told they have to choose somewhere else, stay at home or travel abroad.
Sir William Lawrence, the chairman of Tourism for All, said: “When disabled people go away they are much more likely to travel with family and companions, stay for longer and spend more money. “But before booking, they want to know they are going to be catered for. Even the smallest and inexpensive of changes, like a hearing loop or hand rail, can make your business more disability-friendly. It doesn’t necessarily need to cost the earth, but could be the deciding factor between you and a competitor.”
Paul Nadine, the managing director of the Disabled Holiday Directory, added: “The situation is quite bad at the moment.
“It’s often easier to arrange a holiday for someone abroad than it is here in Britain. Many will want to go abroad, but for those with more serious disabilities or who prefer to enjoy what Britain has to offer, it’s become more and more difficult.”
Booking.com, world leader in booking accommodation online, announced the expansion of its Villas.com portfolio with the introduction of cottages4you, adding more than 10,000 self-catering holiday cottages to its accommodation offering. The decision to expand comes off the back of a huge increase in demand experienced by Booking.com from domestic and international travellers for self-catering accommodation in the UK.
Booking.com has seen demand for its UK villa bookings almost triple during 2012/2013 and expects similar growth this year, combating industry predictions that staycation demand would slow in 2014.
A recent survey conducted by Booking.com proves that UK travellers are actively choosing to holiday at home in summer 2014, while an ever-increasing number of international visitors – from as far afield as China and Australia – look to the British countryside, with self-catering accommodation seen as the perfect way to experience our outstanding rural areas.
“With more than three quarters of us planning a domestic break this year, the UK ‘staycation’ is definitely here to stay,” said Megan Anderson, Global Director of Villas.com “The flexibility and choice that self-catering accommodation brings to a holiday seems to be incredibly attractive, and in response to the trends we’ve been seeing, we’re extremely happy to announce our partnership with cottages4you this summer. It brings a diverse range of more than 10,000 beautiful cottages, perfect for couples, families and groups of travellers looking to personalise their holiday.”
Booking.com customer data explains the motivation behind the self-catered accommodation the freedom and flexibility that they offer. More than half of UK travellers (63%) reported that they like staying in self-catering accommodation because it provides freedom of choice, access to some of the most beautiful parts of the UK and, moreover, to live like a local.
Having the space to accommodate the whole family or a large group is incredibly important to more than a third of those surveyed (37%) and being able to take the dog on holiday is also another driving force behind the popularity of self-catering accommodation, with more than one in ten (12.3%) stating they love self-catering accommodation because they like to take their four-legged family members on holiday too.
Outdoor space is not just key for our pets either. Over half of us (52%) said that the most important facility for summer travel is a garden or balcony/terrace. British weather doesn’t seem to be a deterrent as nearly 1 in 4 (24%) respondents state their UK self-catering accommodation must have a swimming pool!
When it comes to types of self-catering accommodation, cottages rank as the most favoured option for UK travellers – chosen by just under half (40%) of those surveyed – closely followed by apartments (21%) and villas (20%).
Here is a great little video about things to think about if you are considering renting out your home.