CHARTEROAK (Stonerush Ltd)
1 Saxon House
Saxon Way West
Corby
NN18 9EZ

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Charteroak Holiday Lodges in CornwallCharteroak Holiday Lodges in Cornwall

Is it worth buying a holiday home in the UK?

When you think of buying a second home, somewhere you can relax and escape to regularly, it might be tempting to think of foreign shores, warmer climates, gentle sea temperatures, new culinary experiences and a different culture to experience. 

However, there is a lot to be said for buying a holiday home right here, in the UK.  Buying a UK holiday home could make you more money and give you back much more of the precious down time that you are craving.

A straight forward purchase

Firstly, let’s look at the buying process.  Although property prices abroad can look very tempting, since leaving the EU, buying a holiday home abroad has now become more difficult and costly with hefty fees increasing the price tag significantly. 

Arranging to view holiday homes is also more complex, even though you can commence your initial search online, to really get the feel of a holiday home that you want to buy, you are best advised to visit.  Buying a holiday home in the UK enables easy and relatively low-cost viewing trips, and therefore the flexibility to search until you find the right UK holiday home for you. 

  • Buying a holiday home in the UK
  • Buying a holiday home in the UK

 Buying abroad necessitates having to organise and pay for flights, airport parking, transfers and accommodation and puts pressure on you as a buyer to find a property in a shorter amount of time.

The language barrier can also be another stumbling block and often the additional cost of a broker or advocate is necessary to give you the peace of mind that you are navigating the buying process and all of its intricacies thoroughly.  In comparison, buying a holiday home in the UK is simple and easy to navigate, particularly when you consider a holiday lodge purchase which does not require a Solicitor, mortgage or payment of stamp duty.  The whole process of buying a holiday home in the UK can be completed quickly and easily, meaning you can be living that care free holiday lifestyle sooner.

Enjoying your holiday home

Buying a holiday home in any country is a significant investment and what makes buying a holiday home in the UK particularly worthwhile is the ease of accessing and enjoying your holiday home.  Whether your ideal destination is just down the road or 200 miles away, reaching your own personal relaxation zone, just involves hopping in your car or perhaps taking a leisurely trip on the train.  Buying a holiday home abroad will mean that each trip will need additional travel planning and will be much less spontaneous. Depending on where you live, air travel can take considerably longer than driving to a UK destination, plus more thought has to go into your packing, with ever-changing baggage restrictions which are often different across the airlines.  

Flight delays have also increased with 34% of passengers in 2023 experiencing delays and 3.8 million people had flights cancelled[1]. 

Brexit has also thrown another proverbial spanner in the path of holiday home owners abroad, by restricting the amount of time you will be able to spend at your holiday home.  With conditions placed on free moment, currently UK citizens are only able enjoy 90 days in EU countries in any 180-day period.  Whilst this might be plenty of time for some, those who have the luxury of time due to working at home or being of retirement age, may find this restriction punitive.  Remote workers may also need to consider the tax implications of working abroad.  Additionally in 2025 visitors to the EU will require an online travel authorisation, which can take up to 30 days to receive and a fee will be payable for each application.

All of this has the potential to take large chunks out of your chill time and make buying a holiday home in the UK worth considering.

Holiday Letting

If you are buying a holiday home to enjoy a little bit of extra income from holiday letting or want to sublet your lodge to help with the annual running costs, buying a holiday home in the UK may prove worthwhile due to the tax benefits that you will be able to access.  Furnished Holiday Lets open holiday home owners up to a number of beneficial tax regulations, but since the UK left the EU these benefits are not available on holiday lets that are situated outside of the UK. Another impact of Brexit was the weakening of the pound against the Euro which not only means that you can now enjoy less Sangria for your money, but also made UK holidays more attractive for both domestic travellers and foreign visitors alike.  

Overseas visits to the UK were forecast to reach 37.5 million in 2023[2].  On the domestic front, the staycation has endured, particularly in light of the cost-of-living crisis. In Q2 2023, 29.3 million overnight trips were taken within Great Britain which was a 6% increase year on year[3], and over half of UK holidaymakers who choose to travel abroad were also planning to take a UK holiday[4]. With UK tourism enjoying a buoyant post Covid return, buying a UK holiday home has been worth it as owners of UK holiday homes have been able to reap the rewards of increased bookings.

When buying a holiday home for the purpose of holiday letting, occupancy is an important consideration.  Access to holiday homes on foreign shores is dictated by flight schedules, making occupancy of destinations abroad limited in off seasons.  In comparison, the UK holiday season has been steadily extending with destinations successfully marketing cosy winter breaks, storm watching weekends and festive markets and light shows.

The cost of relaxing

There was a time when European holidays were synonymous with cheap meals out and bargain duty free on the way home, but the changes in the exchange rate has seen the cost of living being much more on par, or in excess of our own.  France, one of the most easily accessed EU countries for Brits, is now within the top 11 expensive countries in Europe[5] and the cost of eating out or buying food in Spain[6] is now more expensive than in Britain. Add to this the rising cost of flights, which have increased by 18% in the UK[7] from last year, plus all of the additional costs of transfers and parking which will see your wallet become a little lighter, each and every time you use your holiday home.

 

Managing your holiday home

Despite the laid-back lifestyle, holiday home owners do have some important practicalities to consider.  As with any property, maintenance will be necessary and occasionally things can go wrong which will require your involvement to rectify.  With a holiday home closer to home, dealing with these unusual, unforeseen circumstances can be simple and stress free, particularly if you buy a resort-based holiday home, where maintenance and management teams can take care of any situation on your behalf and keep you readily up to date. Check in visits are easy to schedule and carry out and the ability to visit more frequently can mean you will spot things that have the potential to cause problems, more readily.

Too much of a good thing?

One of the attractions of buying a holiday home abroad is the sunny weather, but in recent years soaring temperatures in Europe have often made visiting uncomfortable.  The temperature increase in Europe is double that of the rest of the planet[8] with land temperatures increasing by 2.04° to 2.10°C in the last decade.[9] Extreme weather events including floods in Greece, wildfires in Tenerife and extreme temperatures in various destinations, and the resulting media coverage, are alerting holidaymakers to the very real impacts of climate change and effecting attitudes to travel.  

The European Travel Commission found that 14% of survey respondents cited “extreme weather event” as a primary concern, double the number of respondents from the previous survey conducted.  This is having very real impacts on the European travel industry with the number of visitors planning to travel to the Mediterranean during the peak season reduced by 10%.[10]

For people buying a holiday home abroad the impacts are numerous.  A potential decline in visitor numbers could hit holiday let incomes, uncomfortable temperatures may reduce your own personal use and enjoyment; and an increase in extreme weather events puts your holiday home at more risk of damage and insurance claims.

The increase in UK visitors demonstrates that holidaymakers are ready to accept the changeable and often less than perfect weather that we experience in the UK.  We are prepared to bask in the sun when it shines or pull on the wellies when we have a downpour.  Hot tubs in cold crisp weather are a desired luxury whilst experiencing the power of nature in a storm has a draw all of its own. Although the UK is not immune to the effects of climate change with more heatwaves and wetter, warmer winters predicted, the patterns that the Mediterranean are experiencing are modelled much further in the future and for specific areas of the UK.

Sustainability

With the change in the climate all too evident we are all looking to make more sustainable choices, and we think that choosing to buy a holiday home in the UK is worth it for the reduced impact on the environment alone.  The less you have to travel to reach your happy haven the better it is for the planet.  Buying a holiday lodge which is efficient to maintain will also do your bit for lowering your carbon usage.

So, although buying a holiday home abroad is a tempting prospect, buying a holiday home in the UK is worth it for all sorts of reasons from improved finances to more leisure time, less stress and lowering your impact on climate change.  If you would like to discuss the buying options offered by Charteroak® get in contact today.

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References

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/uk-flight-cancellations-delays-2023-b2479292.html

[2] https://www.statista.com/statistics/287133/annual-number-of-overseas-visits-to-the-united-kingdom-uk/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20the%20number%20of%20overseas,to%20an%20estimated%2037.5%20million.

[3] https://www.visitbritain.org/research-insights/great-britain-domestic-overnight-trips-latest-results

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/287133/annual-number-of-overseas-visits-to-the-united-kingdom-uk/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20the%20number%20of%20overseas,to%20an%20estimated%2037.5%20million.

[5] https://a-z-animals.com/blog/discover-the-top-most-expensive-countries-in-europe/

[6] https://housinganywhere.com/Spain/cost-of-living-in-spain-compared-to-the-world

[7] https://www.euronews.com/travel/2023/04/26/are-cheap-flights-a-thing-of-the-past-heres-why-your-summer-trip-is-so-expensive

[8] https://www.activesustainability.com/climate-change/temperature-in-europe/

[9] https://www.eea.europa.eu/en/analysis/indicators/global-and-european-temperatures

[10] https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/11/10/rising-temperatures-and-more-extreme-weather-events-how-is-europes-tourism-industry-coping#:~:text=Rattled%20by%20deadly%20floods%20in,European%20Travel%20Commission%20(ETC).

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