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The investment potential of Ilfracombe

Serviced apartment investment tips in the UK
Jul 7, 2017

An introduction to the town

Ilfracombe is a seaside resort in Devon, South West England. The Romans had a hill fort there, and one of the town’s manor houses is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

With a population of just over 11,000 at the last census, its breathtaking location – within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and wide range of attractions have made Ilfracombe the most popular resort on North Devon’s renowned coastline.

An intriguing blend of the old and the new, Ilfracombe combines a working harbour and traditional Victorian seaside architecture with contemporary elements – notably the distinctive Landmark Theatre and Damien Hirst’s controversial ‘Verity’ (the UK’s tallest statue).

It is a cultural and commercial centre for the surrounding area, with a cosmopolitan range of independent retail outlets, restaurants and bars rubbing shoulders with a number of art and craft galleries.

Ilfracombe is one of the more accessible resorts in the West Country; the North Devon Link Road provides convenient motorway connectivity, while Exeter International Airport and nearby Barnstaple Station offer domestic and international air and rail links.

The largest harbour in North Devon, Ilfracombe is also an important gateway for visitors to the rest of Devon, the South Wales coast and the wider South West region.

Ilfracombe Holiday Park - UK serviced apartments


£20bn economy

Ilfracombe is part of an overall Devon economy which is worth over £20 billion – the largest in the South West region. It has grown by 67% over the last decade – significantly faster than the UK average of 53%.

At 76.8%, the employment rate is also higher than the national average and 46% of its workforce is educated to degree level.

Long before the Brexit vote, tourism in the town was thriving, with a range of excellent visitor attractions and amenities. These include a diverse food economy and various privately owned leisure facilities. Besides being one of the town’s most important tourist attractions, Ilfracombe’s harbour has become more important to the local economy in recent years, as its use by commercial and leisure boats, as well as by ferries and cruise ships, has increased.

Today, with the pound in a state of flux, the South West is poised to capitalise on its position as the UK’s best visitor region for four consecutive years. Already in the first quarter of 2017, overseas holidaymaker numbers are up by 18% and 63% of British adults expect to take a holiday or break in England this year (VisitEngland).

And, since the South West accounts for 23% of all English domestic tourism and 40% of seaside holidays, a substantial proportion of the £5.4 billion contributed locally will find its way to flagship resorts such as Ilfracombe.


The case for serviced apartments

The serviced apartment is the UK hospitality sector’s fastest growing property form, with Savills forecasting that supply is set to double by the end of 2017.

According to The Apartment Service, there are now about 750,000 serviced apartments worldwide – an increase of 80% in just eight years.

Originally business and city focused, the sector has moved on in recent years, with AirBnB playing a major role in increasing awareness amongst leisure travellers of alternative accommodation options away from traditional hotels.

Serviced apartments are much larger than hotel rooms and are competitively priced. They offer a self-contained ‘come and go as you please’ experience, with private kitchens and communal areas.

They are also more comprehensively equipped than hotel rooms, and their lower entry level has made them very popular with couples, families and larger groups.

What to look for in a serviced apartment investment

Apart-hotel investment advice in the UK

As with any property investment, the location is absolutely critical. Sustained, long-term demand is totally dependent on large, regular visitor numbers. The more leisure attractions there are nearby, the greater the likelihood of year-round, multi-night occupancy.

It has to be easy to get to by road and rail, and visitors who drive there will expect a parking space.

The best properties will have bars, restaurants and cafes no more than a short stroll from the apartment. A shop is always handy, too – an onsite mini market is ideal.

High quality accommodation

The apartment itself must be comfortable, roomy, well-furnished and in first-class condition.

There should preferably be an onsite management team who look after it 24/7.

Fully equipped kitchens and inviting lounge areas are essential.

The most popular properties will be those with dedicated facilities and amenities to entertain visitors and their children when the weather turns bad.


Introducing Ilfracombe Holiday Park

Ilfracombe Holiday Park is a long-established, fully operational leisure resort a short walk from the town centre. The park is set in nine acres and offers panoramic views across the North Devon countryside.

As a holiday centre, the emphasis is on year-round fun whatever the weather. Onsite attractions include:Tourist accommodation investment advice in the UKAll our properties have undergone or are undergoing a full back-to-brick refurbishment that includes modern plumbing, decor and fireproof exterior cladding; each apartment will also have a brand new kitchen, bathroom and furniture.

The resort has been freshly landscaped to provide extra garden and parking areas.

Ilfracombe itself sits on the South West Coast Path, the longest trail in the country, and Exmoor National Park is on the doorstep. The Tarka Trail, Britain’s longest traffic-free cycle route, also passes through the town.

Further visitor attractions within easy reach include the hand-carved passages down to the hidden Tunnels Beaches, the award-winning Ilfracombe Aquarium, Watermouth Family Theme Park & Castle, Ilfracombe Harbour (with its ferry to Lundy Island) and Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park, among many others.

The investment opportunity

Serviced apartment investment advice in the UK

We are currently offering 123 fully-refurbished, operational apartments. An onsite management team is responsible for all property administration, maintenance and repair, at no cost whatsoever to you.

All bookings, lettings, site marketing and advertising will be the responsibility of Hoseasons – the UK’s leading holiday rentals company and part of the Wyndham Worldwide group.

Given the idyllic location, first class facilities, luxury accommodation and year-round availability, this global resource will help make your investment property in Ilfracombe Holiday Park even more attractive to overseas vacationers and UK staycationers alike.

Investment highlights

  • 10-12% NET fixed income for 10 years
  • Income starts immediately
  • Proven operational property
  • Up to 40% capital growth at resale
  • Exclusively available from £88,000




Visual overview of serviced apartment investment

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