‘Lock up and leave’ homes are back on the agenda in West Sussex

Lock up and leave properties are back in fashion for a variety of buyers as we make our way out of lockdown restrictions.

Factors such as being able to travel abroad again, excellent rental opportunities, Londoners seeking second homes and people wanting to visit family more are fuelling the trend, with all seeking somewhere that offers good security and little maintenance whilst away.

For the over 60’s for example, there has been a huge shift towards a more active lifestyle that embraces ease and convenience. For those looking to travel abroad for golfing holidays, cruises and bucket list adventures that can last longer than one to two weeks, lock up and leave homes are ideal. Whilst others who have been isolated from their families over the last year desperately want to see them more – particularly if they live elsewhere in the country. Popular locations for such buyers are those with communities and neighbours around in a village, town or estate, offering added security. Homes with modern facilities are also preferred over those brimming with character, as they’re well insulated, easily cared for and tend to have some kind of internal security measures in place. Apartments at the King Edward VII Estate in Midhurst are a great example. Nestled within acres of woodland, all residents benefit from high-spec security and a management service – as well as glorious gardens and grounds, a swimming pool and a gym they can enjoy without having to do anything to look after them.

Meanwhile, due to some of the highest levels of demand I have seen in my entire property career, Londoners are struggling to find good country houses in West Sussex around the £2million-£3million level to relocate to at the moment. Combined with the removal of the £500,000 stamp duty threshold, some have decided to postpone their ‘post Covid move out plans’ and find a temporary lock up and leave weekend retreat instead. Budgets are lower at around £800,000-£2million, where they’re seeking a smaller home with an easily maintained garden. Some may even hire a gardener or a housekeeper to keep on top of things whilst they’re not there. I have a few clients doing this at the moment, with anywhere that offers a sense of escapism and peace and quiet of interest. This could be the waterside villages of Chichester as well as rural locations on the outskirts of the city and those dotted around Midhurst and Petworth. The added benefit of purchasing this way as well is that it does allow people to see what the area is like before committing to living there permanently.

People are also recognising the income potential when owning a lock up and leave property. Homes in West Sussex can benefit greatly from sites such as Air B&B whether it’s for a wedding, Christmas holidays or for events such as Festival of Speed and Glorious Goodwood. If you’re somebody who plans to be abroad for the whole of the summer or dream of cruising the Caribbean for two months over Christmas and New year, your home can also make a lucrative income whilst you’re away. If the property is easy to maintain, it’s relatively hassle free, and any costs associated with employing a cleaner and a gardener to keep on top of things in between lets should be covered nicely.

So there are many benefits to owning a lock up and leave property – they truly can be an investment not to be missed. If you need help in your search then please do get in touch with myself, Jennie Hancock, via e-mail (jh@propertyacquisitions.co.uk), phone (+44 7776452128), or LinkedIn.