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Unread 25th September 2009   #1
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Lark in the park: They're the most expensive holiday lodges in the country - and sales are soaring

They drive around in Porsches and Ferraris, love to muck about in James Bond-style boats and throw glamorous cocktail parties.

Among their number are a handful of millionaires, including a bestselling author, some well-known soap stars and a former Manchester United footballer.
But these are not the residents of an exclusive villa development in southern Spain or Sardinia.
This is holiday park life on the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales, where high rollers of the Cheshire Set are queuing up to buy second homes.

Woodland wonder: Luxury lodges, such as these in Rudding Park, N. Yorks, are in high demand

The luxury three-bedroom seafront lodges at The Warren, near Abersoch, with price tags of between £425,000 and £500,000, are the most expensive park properties in Britain.
With gizmos such as remote-controlled windows, wine fridges, double showers and 'body driers' in a roomy 50ft x 22ft they are a far cry from traditional static caravans.
The hefty price tag does not include £5,286 annual park fees - it only buys you a 20-year lease, and doesn't entitle you to live there permanently, either.
Yes, the scenery is lovely and Abersoch is an affluent area, but why pay so much for something that depreciates? 'You're buying into the lifestyle, and it's impossible to buy a bricks-and-mortar seafront property for less than £1 million in this sort of location,' says Amanda Stalham, from the Haulfryn Group.
The company owns 20 other holiday locations in Britain, with prices starting from £27,000 for a two-bedroom 'luxury caravan'.

From the length of the waiting list for The Warren's 95 bespoke lodges - Haulfryn's flagship park - it's hard to believe we're in the middle of a recession.
Yet park homes - which have gone all aspirational of late - are one of the only property sectors to be outperforming during the credit crunch.

While some agents for traditional bricks and mortar say the second-homes market has all but disappeared this year, sales of holiday park lodges are booming.
Over the past two years, it's estimated that more than 70 per cent of the new-build holiday schemes in Britain have been buy-to-let lodge-style developments. There are more than 700 residential parks in Britain - some with permanent owner occupiers and others for holiday use.
Tony Clish, of Park Holidays UK, says 'Sales of lodges and caravan holiday homes to new customers are up 30 per cent across our parks this year, with the biggest growth at the top end of the market.'
He points to a 'clamour of demand' for super-luxury lodges which cost up to £200,000 at Sandhills Holiday Park, Dorset. Spacious waterfront lodges at the park, near Christchurch, have spectacular views of the Solent.
In fact, many buyers are company directors who'd normally buy a villa on the Algarve or Spanish Costas, according to Stuart Johnson, of Experience International, which has been marketing luxury lodges at Mullacott Park, Devon.

'They are choosing a lodge because they're less expensive for the location, and bring in good rental income.'
With 80 square metres of living space, VIP Lodges at Mullacott Park are more spacious than many three bedroom apartments, and cost from £184,950. Homes at the park, near Ilfracombe, north Devon, have 125-year leases and start from 104,950. They offer an 8 per cent return.
<p>For fast movers, there's &pound;10,000 off lodges at Rudding Park, near Harrogate, N. Yorks, until October 31, plus a golf break at the park's 18-hole course. Lodges cost around &pound;300,000 and come with a hot tub and sauna.
<p>Static caravans have undoubtedly come a long way.
<p></b>• <cite>THE Haulfryn Group: 0162 685 5242, haulfryn.co.uk Park Holidays UK: 0845 815 9775, parkholidaysuk.com Mullacott Park: 0127 186 2212, mullacottpark.co.uk Rudding Park, 0142 387 1350, ruddingpark.co.uk

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