Almost three quarters (70 per cent) of the new openings will be in London, confirming a trend predicted by the association at the beginning of 2014.
James Foice, managing director of ASAP, said: “It’s very encouraging to see so many of our members expanding this year proving that the demand for serviced apartments from both the corporate and leisure sectors continues to grow strongly both in London and in key locations in the rest of the UK. London operators achieved Q1 occupancy of 77.8 per cent with the rest of the UK achieving 72.2 per cent.
“The expansion is set to continue into 2015 with ASAP members already planning to open over 500 new apartments next year.”
Among the biggest new London openings, Go Native has already launched 41 new units in March at Monument, and will open 135 apartments in Stratford East next month and another 11 at America Square in December; Cheval Residences opened 159 apartments at the Tower of London in March followed by Harrington Court with 50 apartments in June; StayCity has opened 161 apartments in Greenwich; and City Marque will have opened 150 units by the end of this year.
Other UK openings include House of Fisher’s 50-unit apart-hotel in Reading (opened in January), ESA’s 83 apartments due to open in Woking and Guildford, and Apple Apartments’ 35 Belfast units, which launched last week.
Change of target
The serviced apartment sector has grown tremendously in recent years, and operators are now looking to move from a business-based clientele to a larger, more leisure-oriented target market.
At the Serviced Apartment Summit, held in London on 10 July, STR Global explained that room occupancy is stable during the week and higher at the weekends, proving that serviced apartments are no longer only used for business trips.
The accommodation type is increasingly appealing to leisure travellers who want to feel less like tourists and more like locals when they visit a city.