Fylde Coast Investment Boom

The Fylde Coast is seeing a Buy-to-Let investment boom ahead of the Staycation Summer. And with millions being poured into Blackpool’s continued regeneration, it looks like a good bet for the long term too.

Vincents’ property expert Luke Robinson takes a look at the local marketplace.

“The residential property market is the busiest I’ve ever seen it, due mainly to the pent-up demand after lockdown and the Stamp Duty Holiday which will see activity remain high until it comes to an end in September.

“But a large portion of the activity is Buy to Let investments which don’t benefit from the Stamp Duty Holiday, so there are clearly other factors at work.

“There’s a good mix of purchasers, from out-of-town investors building portfolios to locals looking for a better alternative to the banks for their savings, in a market with yields averaging 7% but heading up to 12% which is hugely attractive.

“With such low sale prices, Blackpool has always been popular with investors buying up old hotels and B&Bs for small flats developments and HMOs.

“But we’re also seeing activity from local people in individual flats or small blocks for serviced apartments, and a lot of interest in Lytham and St Annes where purchase prices are much higher, which points to a slightly different trend.

“There’s definitely an increase in buyers looking towards short-term holiday lets rather than the traditional residential rental market, with apartments proving particularly popular.

“The first question we get from many buyers is to check if there are any covenants or regulations which would prevent the unit from being rented out short term.

“As most flats are bought on a leasehold arrangement, with the leaseholder able to make specific stipulations, this can be a sticking point.

“In Blackpool there’s not many of these, but in Lytham there are a surprising number of leases which state the property cannot be sub-let or let on a short term basis.

“One recently very specifically said it could not be used as an Airbnb, suggesting this is something that has been happening and is not popular with the residential tenants.

“It’s not hard to see why an investor might want to take advantage of the Staycation Summer of 2021, as families look for an alternative to a package holiday abroad.

“Two bed flats with a sofa bed in the lounge could bring in anything from £80 to £280 per night in the summer, far outstripping the opportunities offered by residential rental.

“It can provide a good return on investment with rates more than double the monthly rent for a week’s let in peak season. Even with the consideration of void periods, this is still an enticing proposition.

“As we saw at the end of last year, from October to Christmas the Promenade was packed. The millions being invested into new high quality hotels and restaurants, not to mention the planned £300m entertainments complex, will see the local tourist season extended far beyond the end of the Illuminations which typically marks shut down.

“And with the shows and entertainments programme’s starting up again later this summer, bringing in thousands to Lytham’s Wonderhall along with the Winter Gardens securing national events like Six and Friends The Musical, the town’s holiday pedigree is showing through and the growing trend of holiday let purchases in Blackpool is likely to continue.”

Why are Fylde Coast holiday lets proving popular?

Staycation Summer 2021
Even if government guidelines change to allow unrestricted foreign travel, many people remain uncomfortable about going abroad and are looking to explore the UK this summer.
And, as the school summer hols is less a little over two months away, lots of holiday makers have already booked their break under the current guidance, which is actually great news for the UK’s coastal towns and tourists hotspots.

Hospitality ups its game
After a thoroughly devastating year for the sector, hospitality has come out fighting and determined to make the most of summer 2021. Huge efforts have gone into the creation or renovation of some fantastic outdoor seating areas, while investment into covid secure measures and new technologies such as Apps all serve to improve the overall hospitality experience.

The Airbnb effect
“Just stick it on Airbnb and you’ll be raking it in…” In reality things are not quite so simple, but with a plethora of international booking sites to choose from, each offering different benefits and loads of advice, your property can go global within seconds of a search.

Fabulous Fylde Coast
I know I’m biased, but there’s really nowhere better than the Fylde Coast. You’ve eight miles of golden beaches from St Annes to Fleetwood, great new promenades and well-kept public gardens full of kids’ playgrounds and activities, ideal for walking, cycling or scooting. Within a few minutes’ drive you’re in the countryside, enjoying a cosy pub or a rural ramble, or even water sports activities, not to mention scores of town centres large and small, each with their own unique personalities, brimming with shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

Millions of pounds of investment
The first plans have been submitted as part of the £300m Blackpool Central regeneration to provide a new entertainments complex, creating up to 1000 jobs, attracting 600,000 visitors a year and adding £75m pa to the local economy. Another scheme at Talbot Gateway is underway, creating a new tram hub, Holiday Inn and Marco Pierre White restaurant, while the £28m Winter Gardens extension looks set to bring back the conference trade.

Blackpool’s always been brilliant
When you consider the town already has a world-class theme park and water park, three Victorian piers, the Zoo, acres of sandy beaches and all the entertainments of the Golden Mile, plus popular indoor attractions like the Tower, Sealife and Madame Tussauds bringing in over 18m visitors a year, Blackpool’s clearly already got what it takes to provide the family-friendly summer holiday staycation alternative.