As more people escape to the country, will there be an increase in the purchase of luxury aparthotel rooms?
If escaping to the country by the relocation of a family home or main residence is taken as a given during these turbulent times, will we see a rise in demand for serviced apartments and specifically, luxury aparthotel rooms in London and the UK’s other principal cities, in the immediate to short-term?
During the pandemic there has been an increase in people moving out of their homes in the cities to the country in order to acquire more space. They seek a better work/life balance as a result of the widespread change in working patterns but most will still have work ties in cities, which require them to return occasionally.
An aparthotel combines the comforts of an apartment with the services traditionally provided by a hotel. Using an amalgamation of contemporary ideas they offer more space, cooking facilities and separate living/work areas, than a typical hotel room. They also tend to offer a broader range of hotel-style services than would usually be available in a more limited, traditional serviced apartment building. As a result, for those requiring regular short stays in cities, aparthotels offer a cheaper alternative to a pied-a-terre but with all the home comforts of one combined with a hotel-style service.
Could this universal change in the way people are working and living mean that there is an increased demand on the aparthotel industry? According to property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton’s second annual review of the hotel market, published in October 2019, even before the pandemic the aparthotel industry was driving growth in the hotel sector. The industry already comprises approximately 25,000 units in the UK and Ireland (3% market share) and an additional 6,000 new units are scheduled to be open by 2021.
With growing investment in the UK outside of London, there are development opportunities for global brands operating in, what may be perceived as, a comparatively underdeveloped sector in the UK as more people seek a home from home in the city without the price tag that comes with it.
Anna Jassani is a Senior Associate in the Residential Property team.
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