It seems our static and lodge Terry O’Dell manufacturers have experienced topsy turvy times over the last three years.

Having to close during the Covid issue seriously affected their build plans and as a result new units were in very short supply. Parks found it difficult (in fact almost impossible) to provide new holiday homes. Used models were the only stock readily available and were fetching premium prices.

As the manufacturers started to get back to work the message coming out of the factories at the time was a six-month waiting list for new units ordered and, in some cases, (depending on models) up to a year.

2021 continued to prove difficult for parks to get new stock although the larger park operators seemed to court favour with supplies. In February 2022 one of the larger manufactures quoted a twenty-fourmonth waiting list for new orders. Despite this, new stock was becoming more readily available. By the end of 2022 most holiday home models were available within a few weeks of order. Six months on the message coming out of Hull now is that manufacturers have stock ‘coming out of their ears’. Holiday statics and lodges being stored wherever they can park them.

Whilst most of the factories boast robust order books, it seems strange that Atlas Leisure Homes are apparently making almost one hundred redundancies amid a sector slump warning. Strange indeed!

Although when one considers that in 1983 an Atlas Festival 28ft x 10ft x 2 bed had a retail tag of £5,022.00, the new 2023 Atlas Festival 28ft x 10ft x 2 bed is £32,670.00 - one of the more expensive economy models on the market! Let us hope this is just a blip with Atlas and things get back to normal.

How has all this affected the parks over the last three years? Well - in 2020 lodge/ static owners were prevented from visiting parks during Covid. There was a question mark on pitch fee payments at this time which seemed to be resolved in various ways. Nevertheless, as we progressed into 2021 there seemed to be a few empty pitches on most of the parks due to either lack of stock or an element of uncertainty on the part of new customers.

The turmoil of the past three years has, without a doubt, had an adverse effect on the lodge/static owner about pitch fee costs. Pitch fees now on the larger parks range from £5,000.00 to £7,000.00 per annum. In 1983 ‘Site Fees’ (as they were known in those days) ranged between £500.00 to £1,000.00 per annum.

Owning a lodge/static holiday home today is an expensive pastime and with a very weak economy one must question the high cost of pitch fees going forward and whether it will result in even more empty pitches.

Let us hope the weather is kind to us this Summer allowing us to make the most of our holiday home investment.

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  Published on 08 June 2023 By Jenny Blumsom