Buying a holiday home has required a new approach due to the global pandemic.
Constantly changing restrictions mean that you either may be unable to – or simply don’t want to – travel overseas.
It means that rather than considering a holiday home near the beach in Spain or a ski run in Austria, you may need to consider something much closer to home.
Would you buy this ‘holiday lodge’? Green Hill Farm is a new holiday park in the New Forest
Prices at Green Hill Farm are between £114,995 and £249,995 depending on the lodge size
You may have previously discounted a static caravan or holiday lodge. But their easy accessibility amid the pandemic mean they may now fit the bill.
We take a look at one of the newest holiday parks, to see what is on offer and how much it will cost.
Green Hill Farm is in the New Forest, with the price of a lodge starting from £114,995.
What’s the deal?
Green Hill Farm is a new holiday park development in the New Forest.
It’s a family-friendly lodge and camping park in Landford, Wiltshire. While the majority of the New Forest is associated with Hampshire, this section is in the north tip of the New Forest.
The park takes full advantage of its forest location with plenty of outdoor activities, including an outdoor gym, Segway hire and two fishing lakes.
There are eight wider unit lodges and 15 single units on the holiday park, each sleeping between four and six people.
Green Hill Farm is in the north of the New Forest, between Salisbury and Winchester
Where exactly is it?
Green Hill Farm is in the north of the New Forest, 13 miles from Salisbury and 21 miles from Winchester.
It is only two hours from London, meaning you can leave the office at the end of the day and arrive at your lodge that evening.
What’s the asking price?
Buyers can expect to pay from £114,995 for a single unit – measuring 39ft by 13ft, which sleeps four people – to £249,995 for a twin unit lodge measuring 44ft by 22ft sleeping six.
What’s so special about it?
It’s location. Obtaining planning consent in the New Forest is understandably tightly controlled. But Lovat Park Holidays has succeeded in getting permission for this holiday park on the edge of the national park boundary.
The New Forest is a unique landscape in the south of England. While it feels remote, it is only 88 miles from London. And with this holiday home, there is no need to check overseas travel lists about quarantine rules.
Tony Taccone, of MyHolidayParks,com – where rental bookings for the site can be made – said: ‘With miles of forest trails for walking and biking, wild ponies roaming through the forests and quaint country villages, the New Forest is an ideal location to buy a holiday home lodge.’
The New Forest is known for wild ponies, which are given right of way across the roads
The national park is also known for its open green spaces and heathland
Surely it’s not that perfect?
There are limits on when you can use it. While the development is open all year round, it is not possible to live in it all year.
Lovat Holiday Parks has been vague on the exact amount of time that you can use the facility, simply saying that you can’t use it continuously for a year and that you need to prove you have a main address elsewhere before you can buy a lodge.
It was pressed further, but stuck to saying: ‘Owners cannot stay on site for a continuous 12-month period. Part of the purchase requirement is to supply proof of full-time permanent address.’
What is the local area like?
Salisbury is a 25-minute drive along the A36, while a day at the coast is 30 minutes away with Bournemouth within 25 miles.
Who would own a static caravan like this?
This type of accommodation is perfect for those who enjoy staycations and like an outdoors lifestyle.
The New Forest is popular among walkers and cyclists. It covers a huge area, stretching to the south coast with plenty to discover along its winding lanes and unique heathland.
There’s also the potential to generate an income from the lodge, making it an investment option for owners.
The comfortable lodges at Green Hill Farm are being sold fully furnished
What is the rental yield on a two-bed static caravan?
Lovat Holiday Parks doesn’t operate a lettings service on behalf of owners at Green Hill Farm. But owners can rent their lodges privately.
The site was only opened last month and so the rental income history is limited. Lovat Holiday Parks suggests a lodge could rent out for almost £2,500 for a week during the height of the summer tourist season.
With overseas travel looking likely to be disrupted for sometime, it is likely that staycation bookings will continue to remain strong.
What is the local area like?
The New Forest is known for its open green spaces with heathland and wild ponies – which have the right of way.
Where’s the best place to eat nearby?
The Landford Poacher is a local pub offering hearty home-made meals. If fine dining is your thing, Les Mirabelles offers classic à la carte and bistro style French food and wines – or if you’d rather order in, The Royal Jaipur has a varied menu including traditional favourites and chef’s specialities.
What property purchase costs do buyers need to be aware of?
There’s no stamp duty to pay. It is not normally paid on caravans, mobile homes, holiday homes, park homes or lodges.
It means that this is a relatively simple transaction after agreeing the price of the lodge and understanding the on-going running costs and site fees.
How can investors reclaim VAT?
This is not applicable for as the park doesn’t have a park lettings programme.
What does the property cost to run?
The site fees start from £3,195 a year. Owners also need to pay for their gas and electricity, which are both metered and so the cost depends on usage.
There are water and non-domestic rates, which – after April – will cost £650 a year. Owners will need to insure their holiday home themselves.
What items are included in the sale of the property?
The homes are fully-furnished. Also included in the sale are the 2021 site fees, and water and non-domestic rates until April 2021.
What are the buying criteria?
This must not be the buyers’ permanent residence and can only be used as a holiday home.
Could you invest in a holiday park?
The Darwin Property Leisure Property fund is an alternative way to invest in a holiday park.
The portfolio invests in holiday parks that offer tents, caravans, static caravans and lodges for rental or owner occupiers. Many of the parks also offer leisure facilities, such as swimming pools and catering.
It buys parks in appealing locations and aims to add value in a bid to increase both returns and capital value.
The fund only now accepts money directly from professional investors, with a minimum investment of £100,000. But there are private investors who invested early on, more than a decade ago.
Long-term investor in the fund Mark Dampier said: ‘It had a problem with covid but the bookings are now back on the up. It is working very well.
‘It has not been correlated with the equity markets. You want a mix of things in an investment portfolio and Darwin has done exactly that. When things get tough, people stay at home and book holidays here – and they have some lovely sites.’