Julian Troup, head of Colliers International Hotels Agency, which has sold or acquired 91 hotels and hospitality businesses worth £150m over the last year, said there were 'reasons for real optimism' in the UK hotel market with some areas like the Cotswolds seeing such flurries of activity that there was actually little left to sell.
Troup said there was 'clear movement' from institutional, investors and private equity backed buyers looking to snap up attractively priced provincial hotels rather than properties being offered at full price in and around London while there was also an increase in the number of private buyers looking into buying a smaller property to run themselves.
“We are currently marketing the sale of Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor where we have been inundated with domestic and international interest and it is clear from this and from other instructions that quality continues to drive the market and there remains a significant demand for quality assets and locations," he said.
“There is also more evidence of private buyers being able to sell their house releasing them to look more seriously at buying a hotel or guest house - we are experiencing strong demand from buyers looking in the Hot Spots of the Lake District, the Cotswolds, the North Yorkshire Dales and Moors, New Forest and other National Parks throughout the UK.”
Troup said hoteliers had become more focused on building profitable businesses and improving cost control over the last year, making their businesses more attractive to prospective buyers.
“Additionally in recent months, the staycation trend and the hot summer has improved investor confidence as we’ve seen an increasing the level of enquiries for leisure based UK hotels,” he added.
Meanwhile, Colliers International hotels director Peter Brunt said the market had returned so strongly in some areas like the Cotswolds that the few premises left on the agency's books had 'shrunk to almost nothing'.
He said: “I have offers on the table for just about every hotel and pub we have on our books in the area. For the first time in years I have almost nothing to sell.
“People who thought they could take their time and wait for bargains are missing out as properties are being snapped up under their noses.”
“With relatively few hotels coming to the market we always see a great deal of activity around the ones that do and anybody expecting to hang on hoping for a bargain is likely to go away empty handed. Buyers need to remember that the Cotswold trade is strong and that it is great place to do business as well as being a fantastic place in which to live.”
Positive growth has also been reported in Wales with Colliers selling hotels in as many months.