There’s no doubt about it, the looming EU referendum has caused some prospective property buyers to become a bit jittery. Despite plenty of passion, supported by statistics of dubious quality on both sides, nobody really knows whether we’ll be better off if we stick or twist (economically speaking that is).
With this cloud of uncertainty looming large, is it any wonder that those considering buying have become more cautious? I should know: the expected quick sale of my north London flat has still not materialised. I’ll be very happy when 23 June has been and gone, whether ‘Brexit’ happens or not!
However, amid this turbulent political and economic landscape, the picture in the park and holiday home world has been mercifully brighter.
As I write this, the industry has been gearing up for its big annual event, The World of Park and Holiday Homes Show, at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire. Just after this, there’s the hotly anticipated Royal Highland Show, just outside of Edinburgh. Business is booming in a way that the bricks-and-mortar market could only currently dream about. While the two are clearly linked, a cursory comparision of the mobile home and bricks-and-mortar sectors soon shows why the former is outperforming the latter. The key? Whether the market’s hot or cool, park and holiday homes represent great value, normally selling for tens of thousands of pounds less than equivalent brick-built detached bungalows in any given part of the UK. There are some astonishing bargains to be had - as our July issue focus on Scotland reveals (see page 58). We profile some of the best parks north of the border. There are great deals to be had on new show homes or pre-owned alternatives. We also explore some bargains in England too - Cambridgeshire, Berkshire and Sussex to be precise (from page 26)!
So, if you can live in your dream location for a fraction of the cost of bricks-and-mortar, it means you can probably afford to do a deal on your brick-built home, if you need to sell. (There are also some excellent part-exchange companies in our industry who can help speed things along for you too. In fact, we profile one on page 16.) Throw in the unique community lifestyle you’re buying into and it’s easy to see why our market’s still doing so well!
Alex Melvin, Editor
It’s that time of year again! That’s right, we’re just under a month away from the start of this year’s hotly anticipated World of Park & Leisure Homes Show, which kicks off at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, on 10 June.
There’s so much to look forward to at this year’s show, which is also Europe’s only dedicated mobile homes-based event. Fortunately for PH&HC readers, you’ll find a whopping 32-page Stoneleigh Show Guide inside your bumper June issue. Our unrivalled Guide is the show’s official preview magazine and, in collaboration with event organisers MGM and the industry, we’ve brought you our biggest ever Guide.
Inside, you can expect to find everything you’ll ever need to know about the homes, parks and specialist suppliers and services represented at the event, plus vital show information and a map to help you plan your visit.
The PH&HC team will, as usual, be out in force at Stoneleigh Park for the duration of the event. I’m really looking forward to meeting more of our readers than ever, as well as existing and prospective park and holiday home buyers.
As well as the chance to chew the fat with yours truly and the rest of the PH&HC club, you can also pop over and make the most of our first-ever legal help clinic, to be hosted by Manjit Rai, a legal advisor from The Leasehold Advisory’s park homes division on Friday, 9 June. For more details about this special event, turn to page XX. Phew! All this talk of Stoneleigh has left me hot under the collar with heady expectation!
Away from the excitement of the World of Park & Leisure Homes event, we’ve still got lots to get your pulses racing inside a great June issue.
We’re visiting a wealth of residential park home sites from a range of interesting English locations including Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Suffolk. On top of this, we turn the spotlight on the lovely Pathfinder and what a brilliant sight its exceptional range of homes provides.
Finally, look out for our intriguing feature on how to select your perfect park. There’s lots to take away and ponder... particularly ahead of Stoneleigh; the ideal place to meet the UK’s top park representatives!
Alex Melvin, Editor
This month we wind back the clock a quarter of a century to 1991: the year it all began for the Prestige group - now one of the industry’s biggest and best-known park and leisure home manufacturers, as well as boasting highly successful refurbishment and windows divisions.
It’s been quite a journey for the Prestige team over those 25 years. This period has taken in umpteen property market booms and busts, recessions and the dire worldwide economic meltdown of 2008. As well as this, we’ve also witnessed the rise of the internet, Google and social media, the fall of Communism, two Gulf Wars, 9/11 and much more.
Amid the chaos, Prestige has continued to thrive, raising industry standards along the way. Don’t miss our bumper 24-page tribute to this pioneering Northamptonshire-based company from page 63.
When it comes to successful manufacturers, it’s not just Prestige that deserves a hearty slap on the back though. We’ve also got full reviews of the Sovereign Heywood - a gorgeous new model we first alerted you to in April’s issue - and delightful holiday model, the Willerby Granada. See pages 36 and 118 to learn more.
There are so many fantastic parks dotted around the UK. It’s nothing but a pleasure to enjoy the opportunity to visit so many and get a window into the world of those who have opted into this wonderful way of life.
It makes it doubly special, then, to be able to announce this magazine’s annual Park of the Year, an award that’s been running for more than 15 years now with the assistance and generous sponsorship of insurance experts, Towergate.
Our 2015 champion is Swiss Farm, a lovely site next to a wide expanse of the River Thames in the quaint Oxfordshire town of Henley (see page 10).
We received a tonne of entries for 2015’s competition so, as ever, it was almost impossible to pick a clear winner. When you’re judging the crème de la crème of parks, it’s subjective and open to debate.
Our panel of judges was helped no end though by the purple prose of Keith and Linda Knight, whose nomination really caught our eye. They love the perfect location of their park, as well as the kind and warm-hearted residents and park management.Read more...
I love this time of year. The days are getting longer and lighter, the temperature is beginning to ever so gradually rise and, amid this, the prospect of the annual spring renewal is not too far away.
With the anticipation of these new things, it seems only fitting that our own industry should offer something similarly exciting. Each year it does this with a succession of fantastic annual shows and events.
In your bumper March issue we preview the upcoming Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show, which takes place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre from 23 to 28 February (see page 50). There will be a plethora of new and tantalizing park homes and leisure lodges on display from the UK’s premier manufacturers. There will also be scores of different parks and park groups represented from whom you can learn all about this way of life.Read more...
Did you know that there are more than 3,000 residential park homes on some 92 sites across 22 local authority areas to be found across the border in Scotland?
That’s right: this unique way of life is just as popular with our Scottish neighbours as it is in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We thought we’d celebrate that fact with something of a Scottish parks special in our February issue.
Just in time for the upcoming Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show, which takes place at the the SECC, in Glasgow, from 4 to 7 February, our ‘tartan special’ will whet your appetite for park life in Scotland. Read our review of Scotland’s premier park and holiday home event from page 45.
As well as an impressive set of numbers, Scotland also boasts some of the UK’s most breathtakingly beautiful parks. Check out some of the best in our A to Z guide, which begins on page 54.Read more...