02/06/2009 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Park home company says demand is escalating

PARK homes are continuing to buck the property crash with demand from buyers still escalating, according to one of the UK’s largest residential park operators.

The Britannia Parks Group suggests that interest in park home ownership is being fuelled by couples moving from bricks-and-mortar in a bid to protect the equity they have built up in their property.

Homes on the company’s 20 parks in south and east England have recorded nothing like the losses suffered by most of the housing market, said Britannia’s general manager Richard Sigsworth.

By selling their property and buying a similar-size park home for at least half the price, he said, owners could avoid heavy equity injuries from further price crashes – and invest any residue.

There is, however, just one catch. Park home buyers need to be aged 50-plus to own a property on his company’s parks, all of which are designed for the retired and semi-retired.

But if they do meet the age qualification, purchasers can pay from around £50,000 for a park home that provides the same living space as nearby houses costing up to four times as much.

But just as attractive for many, says Richard, is the location of the park home in a peaceful, semi-sheltered environment – and within a community of like-minded people.

Britannia’s parks are home to around four thousand people, many of whose bricks-and-mortar properties have provided the purchase price plus a nest-egg to cushion a comfortable retirement.

The economic recession, said Richard, was driving up park home enquiries – especially from people fleeing the housing market before the equity in their homes is eroded even further.

Another area of demand, he added, is from the increasing number of people taking early retirement, sometimes with the incentive of substantial pay-offs from their recession-hit employers.

“While we don’t claim that park homes are crash-proof, their prices have traditionally risen when house prices go up – but tend to fall at a much slower rate when bricks-and-mortar values go down,” said Richard.

“One reason for this is that many people are attracted by the idea of a park home lifestyle, but restrictive planning policies mean that it’s very difficult for us to site new homes to meet demand.

“We even have park homes currently on the market at a quarter of a million pounds – a price which some people are very happy to pay for a dream retirement.”


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