Feedback from dealers and holiday parks suggest that sales and enquiry levels continue to be very buoyant, and actually seem to be getting stronger each month. There were signs that this would be the case earlier this year, however, nothing can be guaranteed with COVID-19 continuing to make its presence felt.
As soon as COVID-19 restrictions lifted in April, holidaymakers flocked to parks all over the UK. Bookings for holidays throughout 2021 have been very strong since last year, however, will have been boosted further by the Government’s policies on international travel. The ‘traffic light system’ implemented by the Government has introduced a level of uncertainty into organising an overseas holiday, with countries having the potential to change from green to amber at short notice. This has resulted in further bookings, and many parks are now fully booked until November.
Dealers and parks have suggested that the difficulties associated with international travel have led to a change in mindset for many consumers, who have decided to holiday domestically for the foreseeable future and buy a holiday home of their own. This has led to an even greater demand for units and has brought many first-time buyers to the market.
Stock availability – New holiday homes
Following the rise in popularity of staycation, demand for new holiday homes has grown significantly. This has resulted in manufacturers already selling out of their 2022 model year allocation, which is currently in production. Manufacturers are also taking orders for their 2023 model year, with customers prepared to wait for 12-months to take ownership.
New unit supply is very low due to ongoing issues with production too. A severe lack of parts and materials combined with lengthy import delays is hampering output. The cost of materials is rising rapidly too, and manufacturers have been transparent that cost new prices for the 2023 model year will increase considerably.
Despite the heavy disruption caused to production this year, the latest production statistics published by the National Caravan Council (NCC) show an increase of 58.4% for the first four months of this year. However, as factories were completely closed in April last year due to Lockdown-1 this should come as no surprise.
Stock availability – Used holiday homes
Due to the lack of new units available this year, many parks have opted to hold onto units that they would ordinarily sell off to trade buyers. This combined with the ongoing chronic used stock shortage is putting dealers under serious pressure to find stock. When stock is available, dealers often face stiff competition to secure units, leading to rising trade transaction prices. The majority of dealers have fed back that they are unsatisfied with their current stock levels.
Dealers will likely have to wait until the autumn for more used stock to become available, albeit still in limited numbers. Until the majority of holiday park’s rental stock is refreshed with new units, dealers will have to contend with rising demand throughout the summer selling period with reduced volumes of stock.
Once 2022 model year stock starts to arrive and more used units become available, the holiday home market could strike a balance and make the most of the additional business on offer due to COVID-19. Until then, stock sourcing will continue to be a challenge and dealers and parks will miss sales opportunities. That said, the outlook remains very positive.
Reflecting the high level of demand and shortage of available stock in the market, the majority of retail values for models up to 10 years of age increased by 2%. Models over 10 years increased by 5%, except where trade feedback or evidence from the market suggested further adjustments where necessary.