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Holiday Property Bond - Mon 04th April 2011

Why would a Spanish villa owner and villa agent  also become a member of Holiday Property Bond (HPB)?

Well, it all happened back in 1991 when an old friend recommended them to me. Attracted by interesting  old  buildings in the UK and abroad that were converted sympathetically into good quality accommodation with amenities was very much appealing, and as an advocate of self catering over hotels myself it made good sense. In fact, on many occasions I will drive and stay at their French establishments and then drive onto Spain.

Here was a professional company that knew what it was doing and was doing it very well. A wonderfully clever programme that allowed flexible use at any one of its property, regardless of location, size and time period.

HPB's attention to detail was an act I sought to achieve with VillaSpain when it started in 1994, and continue to do so.

I have only praise for HPB, though would like to explain some of the key pros and cons to people that may not be so familiar with them and the likes of similar organisations.

Pros

Flexibility;

a) You could decide the size of the accommodation on every trip yourself, be it studio, one bed 2 bed 3 bed etc, for which you only paid a user charge and not an annual maintenance fee.

b) Choose any date you want.

c) Choice of location.

Not a package type complex, but well planned accommodation surrounding  spacious grounds that are all well maintained.

On site amenities, including heated pools and tennis, and in some a  club house with billiard rooms and other games rooms.

Offers some excellent historic buildings that have been converted.

You choose whether to socialise with other HPB holders or just do your own thing.

Cons

When you invest in HPB you basically lose 25% of the value of your investment, so it is not a property investment but a holiday entitlement, though in perpetuity and can be on in your will.

User charges (non profit) are considered high by users, though the level of service at each development is high and the properties well maintained too.

Trying to juggle your allocated annual points, in order to try to avoid them being placed on a 70 day account or lost altogether if not used by a certain date. Ideal if you have  friends that you can share and swap with.

Now let's compare a bit with their non profit user charge on  villa pricing when compared to VillaSpains listed property;

HPB have 2 x 4 bedroom villas in Javea, Spain that have a no profit user charge set at £650 per week, fixed all year around.

If you compare this with VillaSpain 4 bedroom villas then you can find several stunning villas  at under £600 between 1st October and end of May. Therefore the saving would be to make use of HPB between June and September, though you need to use 16,000 points with HPB (£1 a point cost) for a week's stay in peak period. Compare HPB Villa Margarita  http://www.hpb.co.uk/properties/  with VillaSpains Villa Nevette at page http://bit.ly/mRtQpV  . The latter having a higher spec.

Now when you compare with HPB's tenancy properties (ones that are rented but not directly owned by HPB) the differences work more in favour of VillaSpain . Take Casa Buho (HPB), which is a nice standard  3 bed with pool that will set you back £1350 pw in peak season and £615 to £1,000 pw for all other periods. Compare to Villavista with air/con at http://bit.ly/iShuDQ at just £900 pw peak or  Mirador al Sur at  http://bit.ly/jg53s3 for £1,395 with air/con, WIFI and spectacular views you will realise there are great savings and far better offerings by being independent.

Compare this with a front line spectacular villa called Villa Galesa in Javea http://bit.ly/jw1yIM at just £1,538 peak period, or the outstanding luxurious 400 square metre 4 bedroom Finca Badowa at http://bit.ly/krKBj6  under the Montgo at £795 to £1,690 peak then you would see that there are more interesting superior properties with more amenities than with HPB tenancies.  

Compare also HPB's new development  at El Pueblito de Alfaix in Almeria, whereby a 3 bed villa with pool will cost £699 per week throughout the year and over 18,000 points peak time, against higher specked villas  in the considerably more affluent Northern Costa Blanca that are nearly half that price between 1st October and end of May. The only benefit here would be to book a HPB villa  in July and August. Alfaix is well inland and has no commercial centre, so a drive to the coast or Mojacar takes you over 17-20 mins ( 17 Kms).

Yes, there is a club house, communal heated pool, tennis, Jacuzzi, sauna and crazy golf.

In summary you are considerably better off financially to use a VillaSpain villa outside of peak summer than by taking HPB own property. You also get a greater choice of individually styled properties with Villaspain that in many cases offer a much higher spec than HPB,  since air/con, SAT subscription TV and WIFI are more common.

Holidays are to enjoy and it's good to have the mix, so I will be keeping my HPB points.

Posted by Bruce Gibson

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