Christie+Co has just put a portfolio of 11 regional hotels operated by QWH UK on the market. The hotels - three Crowne Plaza hotels, seven Holiday Inn hotels and one Best Western PLUS - are being sold with franchises and management teams in place.
Other regional hotels to come on the market this month include the listed 64-bedroom Best Western-branded Banbury House Hotel, which is being marketed by Colliers International at £2.6m.
Colliers announced on Tuesday that it had sold the 16-bedroom Ayrlington hotel in Bath for a figure ‘well above’ the £2.5m asking price after considerable interest and ‘brisk bidding’ by potential buyers.
Peter Brunt, hotels director at Colliers International, told BigHospitality that there was considerable interest in the Bath hotel, which reflected a wider uplift in demand for regional hotels and pubs.
“What we are seeing is a tremendous increase in viewing appointments - there are a lot more people going out and looking at hotels which is really positive,” he said.
“I think there is a greater confidence amongst purchasers that this is a good time to buy a hotel or a pub.”
Brunt put this confidence down to the improved trading performance of regional hotels in recent months.
“I think that people are also thinking that the market has definitely bottomed out and prices are rising, so if they don’t buy now it will be more expensive later,” he added.
Peter Fermoy, head of media relations at Christie + Co, agreed that 2014 may present the last opportunity for investors to pick up hotel assets relatively inexpensively.
“In 2014 we are fairly sure that we will see selective value increases in the regions amidst what is likely to remain a relatively flat market – and this should see transactional activity increase as investors are encouraged by what remains a fairly low price point,” he said.
Christie + Co’s latest Business Outlook report revealed that UK hotel prices increased by 5.7 per cent last year, indicating an uplift in the market.
Although the majority of last year’s major deals were concentrated in London, it said that values were maintained in the regions, especially where quality assets were put to market.
“The regions saw improved trading for the first time in many years, attracting buyers into the provincial markets, enticed by prospects of capital appreciation,” it said.