Water and leisure property update
Prior to lockdown, the water and leisure property market had been active and signs were positive for the remainder of the year. Post lockdown, we have seen one of the busiest three-month periods in this sector since 2007.
There is no doubt that there are more buyers in the market, in particular those looking for lifestyle properties or holiday accommodation with water or those with development potential. Our Water & Leisure team have reported that since lockdown restrictions were eased on 5th July, those offering holiday accommodation in the UK have seen a significant rise in demand for bookings.
Cottages.com and sister company, Hoseasons, both reported record sales following the Government announcement on 24th June with bookings coming through 1 every 11 seconds. Hoseasons year-on-year sales were up 270% by the end of the day and cottages.com reported a 455% increase as both brands smashed their previous record sales day.
Coolcamping.com, which has 420 sites across England, saw a fourfold increase in bookings compared with prior to the announcement and reported bookings were up 75% on this time last year.
Traffic to our water and leisure property portal, fisheries4sale.com, increased by 60% between the reopening of the market on May 13th and July 30th compared to the same period in 2019, with year-on-year stats showing the number of new users rose by over 70% whilst page views were up over 30%.
New applicant registrations were up by 53% between mid-May and the end of July. As a direct result of this increased demand, our Water & Leisure team have either sold or agreed a sale on 70% of properties which were marketed during lockdown. You can view recently sold properties here.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined a number of measures to help leisure businesses and property owners in his summer statement on 8th July. VAT has been cut from 20% to 5% for all hospitality and tourism businesses until 12th January 2021 and Stamp Duty has been removed for houses up to £500,000 until 31st March next year. The Government referred to it as a ‘£4bn catalyst’ that will benefit over 150,000 businesses and consumers and help protect 2.4m jobs.
Tom Good, Associate Partner at Fenn Wright comments “Although the reduction in Stamp Duty will not directly affect mixed use and commercial properties, many buyers in the lifestyle and leisure markets rely on a residential property sale to finance their lifestyle change. The measures may also benefit those selling a property or business due to retirement as it will reduce the overall cost of their onward purchase”.