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Online House Hunter: Buying a holiday home

Alan Cleaver
newquay 300x190 Online House Hunter: Buying a holiday home

Holiday homes offer a chance for investment but come with costs

ONE sector of the housing market which manages to weather the storms better than others is the second homes market. It indicates people seeing property as a good long-term investment but it’s also a vote of confidence in UK tourism.

Knight Frank Research shows the number of second homes in England steadily rising over recent years: 3.1% in 2006, 1.6% in 2007, then a slight dip of 0.4% in 2008 but a rise of 2.6% in 2009 and a tiny positive of 0.1% in 2010.

Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, has pointed to the staycation phenomenon as one of the driving forces, this in turn driving new-build second homes in places like Newquay, Cornwall.

The hope of a good return from letting the second holiday home, along with its long-term investment, has also been seen as a factor for the success of this part of the market (not forgetting the chance to use it for your own holiday or course). And according to Knight Frank it’s not just seaside resorts that count any more. Holiday lets close to national parks and those offering easy access to major cities have also proved popular and profitable.

But there’s a lot to consider before rushing into the second homes market. The type of mortgage and any restrictions that come with it will be the first challenge, the insurance costs, maintenance costs, council tax charges and there can be disadvantages as well as advantages in regards to tax issues.

Your decision on what to buy and where might be driven by your personal desire to holiday each year in the Lake District but if you’re serious about the home as an investment you may need to consider a home elsewhere in the country which might be more economically successful. And once you’ve bought the home you then need to consider whether you’re going to try and maintain it yourself or make use of an agent or holiday agencies.

By the time you’ve got your head round all those issues and more you’re going to need a holiday – in your second home or elsewhere!

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