09th September, 2020
Caravan Parks For Sale Across Australia
Caravan Parks For Sale Across Australia
Are you interested in buying a caravan park?
Caravan Parks for sale are usually offered in one of three ways. These include:
Freehold going concern.
Where the owner/operator is responsible for everything from bookings to refurbishment but there is no rent and they collect all profit.
Where you buy the caravan park lease and operate the day-to-day management of the park, you may live onsite and pay the park owner annual rent for the use of the land and buildings. Lease agreements vary and can last for 30 years.
This is where the land and buildings are purchased as a “Passive Investment by a commercial investor” here the landlord is responsible for all structural repairs and is expected to maintain the standard of the property for the duration of the lease and for this they receive an annual rent.
Caravan parks are considered to be strong investments by lenders but if you are new to the industry the purchase of a caravan park can be a complicated process. Mike Phipps from Mike Phipps Finance advises that it can take time to “assess your requirements, and explain the purchase, finance process and provide a summary of your likely purchasing range”.
How are caravan parks valued?
Caravan Park Value is assessed on a case-by-case basis, but the lenders generally want to see a business that has increasing revenue year-on-year and may also want a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of the business completed. Generally, a lender that understands the caravan park and accommodation industry will give a stronger valuation.
What makes for a good caravan park?
- Location. What does its position offer your target market and does the locale fit with the experience you aim to offer?
- Is the park safe and secure?
- What are the onsite facilities and amenities, and do they meet guest expectations or need work? Is there potential for growth and development?
- Maintenance. You should find out how much work is required to keep the property and landscaping always looking its best because first impressions are everything.
Being a caravan park owner/operator: Is this the life for you?
Running a caravan park is a hands-on job! Here is what you can expect it to involve:
- It is really hard work! In busy periods, expect to work 12 to14 hours day or more, seven days a week.
- It requires excellent people skills that are vital for managing a park with guests of all ages, abilities, and from every walk of life.
- You need to have the right personality for the job! Great park managers can turn an average park into a huge success by building a sense of community and fun.
- You should be passionate about the outdoor lifestyle.
- It helps if you have experience in leisure or customer service.
- You should do plenty of research and stay at parks you are interested in to check them out (the best part of the research!).
- You need to be responsive and a quick decision-maker who can manage a wide variety of situations.
- You should seek advice from other owners and industry professionals who know about caravan parks! Community spirit is key!
Why are Aussies such happy campers?
Caravans and camping are as much a part of our lifestyle as throwing shrimp on a barbie! According to Tourism Research Australia, Australians spent a total of 59 million nights in caravans and camping in 2019, making it the most popular national accommodation option.
Its popularity is continuing to bloom as the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) recently noted that a “strong and sustainable resurgence of caravan park occupancy” was emerging as a post-COVID travel norm.
Aussies are global explorers but travel has changed, perhaps for many years to come, and people have turned their attention towards their own back yard. CIAA data highlights a “rapid uptake” of campers, giving the industry significant potential to lead regional recovery for Australia’s visitor economy.
“Coming from ground zero, this early data shows real green-shoots are occurring in caravanning which is now driving our tourism industry forward,” the association advised.
This data also reveals that 80 percent of CIAA’s consumer audience are considering staying in a caravan park and there are interesting signs that post-COVID campers and caravanners fulfil a younger demographic.
Camplify, the van sharing platform dubbed “Airbnb for caravans”, recently reported a 125 percent rise in Australian winter camping holidays compared to last year. It also reported an increase in younger users; nearly 30 percent of users of the Camplify website were between 25 and 34 years’ old and there is a growth in the 21 to 24-year-old age group. Interestingly, the data specifies that in 2019, nearly 50 percent of people hiring caravans on the site were between 35 and 55 years old and 54 percent of bookings were made by women.
Why Aussie caravan/holiday parks are awesome
We use the term “Caravan Park” but note that “Holiday Park” is also an umbrella term referring to all parks that accommodate caravans, cabins, camp sites and mobile homes – all ideally suited for holiday or long-term accommodation. Most parks offer short and long-stay options for holidaymakers, roaming tourists, permanent residents, or a mix of both.
Every caravan park is different but most offer powered and unpowered sites, ensuite and drive-through sites, camping, cabins and motel-style rooms with the addition of high-end “glamping tents” also on the rise. Some parks offer an environmentally sustainable and back-to-nature experience and some are health-focused, while others offer a full-on, fun-filled time. Many more focus on families but an increasing number feature trendy cafes, higher-end restaurants, outdoor cinemas, play areas and waterparks.
The permanent sector of caravan parks has also seen the growth of Manufactured Housing Estates (MHEs), more akin to gated communities, where residents own their own manufactured home and pay site rental plus metered utility costs.
Caravan parks are widely regarded as safer post-pandemic accom compared to other options. Keelan Howard from CIAA talked about why caravan parks are considered to be less of a cross-contamination risk: “By design, caravan parks have large open spaces, cabin accommodation and many caravans/RVs have their own toilet, shower, kitchen and air conditioning systems that reduce the need for shared amenity blocks and facilities. Caravan parks also have increased strong cleaning and hygiene practices in place.”
The signs are strong that the caravan park industry will continue to grow therefore owning one could be a great business opportunity for forward thinking people who enjoy a busy and varied lifestyle.
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