Cabin fever spreads
By Andrea Watson
CARAVANNERS have every right to regard themselves as environmentally-friendly and responsible second home owners.
They don’t deprive local people of coastal cottages and they create a relatively small carbon footprint. But there’s little doubt our tastes are changing.
The old-style caravan parks that coat the hillsides of Devon and Cornwall do not look particularly attractive and as homes, some are no longer up to modern standards.
The result has been a vast change in the nature and shape of buildings used on parks – with natural-looking timber-built lodges that blend with the environment now hugely popular.
Graham Fisher and his family, from Leicestershire, bought a Scandinavian Woodland lodge at Finlake in south Devon this year for £150,000 and see it as both a second home and investment.
Mr Fisher said: “I did a lot of research into the right investment property. I wanted the best capital appreciation and it has an excellent yield, plus a long lease potential of 99 years.”
Nick Clark, managing director of the Property Investor Show, said: “There has been a shift in the second home market as a result of the global economic downturn. Due to changing trends, companies are bringing more innovative products and creative financing options to the market.”
The latest development in the fast-growing industry is the birth of the eco-lodge.
A prototype, constructed from recycled steel clad with a superinsulated shell, is to be launched at the Grand Designs Live show at the NEC Birmingham this weekend.
By reusing the basic components of an existing building, carbon omissions and energy use during construction are greatly reduced in the creation of this stylish structure. Reduced waste product from construction materials is another benefit.
Finlake will be the first UK park to offer buyers the Paloma home designed by Eco Modular Living. This is the first modular structure the Haulfryn Group, which manages the park, has offered. The two-bed home has a combined living and kitchen area with smart fitted appliances. Modern finishes blend with the traditional timber and the large decking area adds to the feeling of being part of the lovely woodland setting. Finlake, in 130 acres on the edge of Dartmoor, was recently voted best UK holiday park by Hoseasons. Facilities include swimming pools, tennis courts, a fitness centre and restaurant.
Activities available include a nine-hole golf course, two fi shing lakes, woodland walks, a playground and horse riding. Prices for properties start at £99,000. Mr Clark said: “Haulfryn enables investors with a smaller budget to buy lodges or fixed caravans in desirable tourism locations in Surrey, Devon and Dorset with a guaranteed rental return of six per cent during the first two years of ownership.”
● Haulfryn Holiday Homes: 01626 855242
● Grand Designs runs from today until Sunday at the NEC Birmingham. Further details at www.granddesignslive.co.uk
● The Property Investor Show & OPP Live run from October 22-24 at London ExCeL. See www.propertyinvestor.co.uk/london