Sales of holiday homes fell for a third month in January, according to new research, as demand from overseas continues to dampen demand for traditional holiday homes.
Sales of holiday houses fell by 0.1% in January from a year earlier to 3.1m, according the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).NAR said that the fall was due to a lower than expected number of holiday sales during the festive season.
The decline was mostly due to an uptick in holiday sales in the second half of the year, when demand for holiday homes had been dampened.
The number of holidays sold fell by 10.5% in the month, the NAR said.
The biggest reason for the drop was that holiday sales fell during the first quarter of this year, which had been the lowest on record.
The NAR blamed a weak economy and the impact of the tax holiday on holiday sales.
However, the UK’s economy contracted by 0,3% in 2017, the first decline in more than five years.
The figures are the latest in a series of evidence that holiday houses are under pressure.
Last year, the number of vacation homes sold in England and Wales fell by 1.5%, according to NAR data.
This year, sales of holiday properties fell in Scotland, the North East and Wales, and in the Midlands and London.
The latest sales figures were released ahead of a planned increase in the minimum wage, which is set to take effect in April 2019.
The rise will make it easier for many employers to pay holiday pay to their staff, but could also hit holiday home sales, which rely on a steady flow of overseas holiday visitors to pay for accommodation.
The minimum wage has been called a “nightmare” by some business leaders, but a number of studies have found that it is well worth it for some workers.
The research showed that sales of traditional holiday houses have fallen by 0 to 2.5 times over the last three years, and that this was largely driven by an increase in overseas holiday sales, driven by the rise in the number and quality of holiday packages being delivered to UK properties.
The National Association for Realtor (NARP) said that sales volumes of traditional holidays were down 1.2% in December, compared to the previous month, with sales of new holiday homes down 1%.NAR’s research found that the number in January fell by a similar amount, and it is likely that the holiday sales data reflected a “soft landing” in January.
The report, which was commissioned by the NARP, was based on data from a sample of more than 30,000 homes sold last year, and NAR says that its research was consistent with previous reports.
“Our research is consistent with our previous reports,” said the association’s chief executive, Michael Meehan.
“We found that sales growth has been significantly lower than in previous years, as holiday demand has been dampening holiday home demand.”
The NARP said that it was “particularly concerned” by the fall in sales volumes in the North West and Midlands.
“The numbers in the last month of January, and particularly in the week ending on January 10th, indicate that demand for a holiday is in a ‘soft landing’, with demand in these regions being more susceptible to falls in sales,” Meeham said.
He added that there was a “great deal of uncertainty” around the impact the government’s holiday package will have on sales, and suggested that the Government “should not rush into this”.
“We think there is a lot more uncertainty around this than people realise,” he said.NAR is calling on the Government to set a target of raising the minimum wages for all employees to at least £8 an hour by 2020.
“It is important that we have a clear, achievable target for this to be met, as the minimum pay is already set to rise in 2020,” said NAR chief executive Mark Rees.
The organisation also said that people who are unemployed and living with their partner or domestic partner should consider selling their holiday home to raise money for themselves.
“A successful holiday home is a place of refuge for people with financial and health difficulties, as well as a place to stay during the busy Christmas and New Year period,” Rees said.