Investing in South Devon

Published: Wednesday 17th Oct 2018

With three areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Heritage Coast, over 125 miles of stunning coastline, acres of unspoilt countryside and the mixture of coastal and rural towns and villages, South Devon has an abundance of charm appeal. It is and will continue to be one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations, in essence, there will always be a demand for quality self-catering holiday homes in South Devon.

We regularly speak to those who are considering purchasing a property in South Devon as a holiday home or an investment. Many have identified potential properties and pre-arranged estate agent viewings (with whom we work very closely with) whilst others may be more impulsive after simply falling in love with the beautiful area and want to know more.

Those that approach Blueriver Cottages are usually looking for our advice on the potential weekly rental and the anticipated number of letting weeks per year, plus the property’s letting history if applicable. Others wish to discuss the merits of different properties and their suitability for letting. We are happy to help you assess the location, standards and key requirements but it is vital that the property suits the purchaser and their plans – whether it be purely as an investment and rental property or for somewhere in which the homeowner and family can also enjoy their holiday.

So what makes a good holiday property in South Devon?

Our portfolio of properties come in all shapes and sizes and to suit a range of budgets, but it is crucial that we know our market so that we can steer you in the right direction and make an informed choice.

We spend time analysing our booking market and know that  45% of searches made are looking specifically for dog-friendly holiday cottages - South Devon is tremendously in favour of welcoming your four legged friends.

We also know that the most popular party size is 4 people, although 79% of our bookings are made without children (as they are only able to go away during school holidays, however these a classed as peak weeks and therefore demand a higher weekly income).

50% of our Blueriver Cottages customers are aged between 51 and 70. This age category are available throughout the year, but particularly good to attract in the shoulder months when the season has quietened down.

Other kerb appeal considerations are parking, low maintenance gardens, balcony or outside terrace. As with a large majority of properties especially in the coastal towns, a driveway is an asset to any holiday home. Guest expectations of holiday lets are also on the increase. Facilities and contents are key selling features, so bear this in mind when you budget for buying a property. Contemporary kitchens and bathrooms, plus gadgets such as flat screen TV’s, Sky packages and Wifi access are now often expected in the middle of the range holiday properties.

Modern kitchen at Ravenswell
Modern kitchen at Ravenswell


Living room at Magdala Garden
Living room at Magdala Garden

Additional equipment such as baby friendly facilities plus welcoming touches such as flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine can lead to repeat bookings and a more successful letting programme. As mentioned above, with pet-friendly properties becoming the norm, remember a little gift of biscuits for them as well. Your guests will really appreciate the extra thought given to welcoming them on their stay.

What else should I consider when considering holiday letting in South Devon?

If you are thinking of letting a property or considering buying one to let, beware of financial planning based on unrealistically high expectations of the number of letting weeks you will achieve, particularly in the first year.

It is also crucial that the ongoing costs are factored in from the beginning. These include:

  • Utility bills
  • Furnished Holiday let Insurance
  • Council tax
  • Setting up costs (furnishings and interior decorating)
  • Broadband/TV subscription
  • Gas/electrical and fire safety (cost of annual checks)
  • Housekeeping and linen costs
  • Welcome Packs for guests
  • Gardening
  • Property maintenance
  • Agency commission fees plus VAT

This may look overwhelming, but luckily most of these are not up front costs and are covered by the monthly income that is made. There are tax benefits to be gained from letting holiday accommodation although we always advise our owners to seek professional advice from an accountant.

We are happy to offer informed and honest projections, suggestions for property improvements, letting guidance and a full assessment of your property’s potential. We’re in this for the long term and hope that we can help you on your holiday let journey.

So, without enduring the hard sell and with no obligation, call 01803 833682 and ask to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable Property Recruiters, or feel free to pop in to one of our three offices in Dartmouth, Salcombe or Torquay in South Devon.