2015 summer wash out ‘didn’t ruin season’

Last summer’s wet weather didn’t prevent the caravan and holiday park sector in the South West having a good year, experts have said.

Despite a near wash-out summer in 2015, the sector still recorded steady increases in the sales of parks and trading conditions on parks across the UK.

One reason for the success, said the report from Edwards and Partners, was the fine weather in spring and autumn, together with improved economic conditions.The annual market report from the company, which is a division of national chartered surveyor, Sanderson Weatherall, showed particular growth for the residential sector, with strong demand for park home estates in spite of the extra workload imposed by the new regulations flowing from the 2013 Mobile Homes Act.

Chris Tucker, partner at Sanderson Weatherall which has an office in Exeter, said: “It’s been another year of steady growth for the market.

“Most holiday park operators have reported a successful 2015, even if they did face a washout in the peak summer months, and caravan and lodge sales appear to have remained strong – especially at the top end of the market,” he said.

“The sunny spring and autumn were clearly beneficial and forward bookings for the main season were boosted by the two recent fine summers in 2013 and 2014. Low inflation, falling fuel prices and an increase in average earnings also helped to support the sector.” Mr Tucker added that the strong uplift in values seen in the residential park sector is due to increased demand for individual homes.

Sanderson Weatherall’s Market Report looked at pitch values across the holiday park sectors. The average value of a static caravan pitch has remained relatively stable at £16,000, although the range between the highest and lowest value achieved has widened considerably compared to last year. In 2015, pitches achieved values of between £9,000 and £30,000.

Although the report, the firm’s 26th, shows a slight fall in average touring pitch prices from £8,300 in 2014 to £7,500 in 2015 based on sales in the last 12 months, this is most likely due to a significant number of sales in secondary locations which has adversely affected the average value.

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