“This is our fifth visit to Physkos, the Holiday Property Bond’s Turkish home, and it’s a bit of a double-edged sword for us; we love it so much that our stays here are always tinged with regret that we have to go home! But we’ve booked to go again.” – Brian Nicholls-Lee
Brian Nicholls-Lee and wife Valerie became Bondholders in 1998. “Back in the 1980s the Bond held an open event at an hotel in Thornton Heath, close to where we then lived,” Brian recalls. “We went along and liked what we saw, but were not really in a position, financially, to do much about it. Still, we always kept it at the back of our minds. Later on, three factors – profits from a house move [the couple now live in an idyllic village in north Surrey], having our son and daughter off our hands, and retirement (I was a chemistry lecturer, Valerie worked as a senior manager in further and higher education) – provided just the right confluence of circumstances to warrant another look at HPB. Again, we liked what we saw; and thanks to the Bond’s steady growth in the intervening years, there was a lot more to see!”
The Bond’s property portfolio was persuasive enough; but there was another factor in the Nicholls-Lees’ decision. “It provided the incentive for us to organise holidays.” says Valerie. “The way the Bond is structured, the Holiday Points system and so on, provide a real impetus to go and visit these places – just to see how HPB continue to manage the portfolio of properties.”
To date, the Nicholls-Lees’ tours of inspection have taken them to La Reserva de Biniorella, in Majorca; Henllys, in Anglesey; St Brides Castle, in Pembrokeshire; Sibton Park, in Kent; Santa Rosa, in Lanzarote; Duloe Manor, in Cornwall; Langton House, in Dorset; Lower Knapp Farm, in Devon; Tigh Mor Trossachs, in Perthshire; Upper House, in Shropshire; Physkos, in Turunç, Turkey; El Balcón de Santa Ana, in La Gomera, the second-smallest of the Canary Islands; Stigliano, in Tuscany (the couple’s favourite site: “So much history, so much culture, so much architecture.”).
Valerie and Brian’s interests include walking, gardening, history and architecture; “I like buildings as buildings, whereas Valerie is more interested in the ‘human’ element; she’s a steward at our nearest National Trust property, Polesden Lacey,” says Brian. Pretty much all HPB sites are in good walking country; the Bond is renowned for its gardens; most are within easy striking distance of sites of historical and/or architectural significance; and a number (including Stigliano) are architecturally and historically significant themselves. So that ticks those boxes. The couple also enjoy sea-swimming, if the water’s warm; something we can’t always guarantee.
So what’s the Nicholls-Lees’ verdict on HPB’s stewardship of the property portfolio? “First-class,” says Valerie. “The care and attention paid by both site staff and headquarters guarantees that we’re well looked-after, wherever we go – and it’s clear from the cleanliness and décor of Bond accommodation, to say nothing of furnishings and equipment, that all the properties are well looked-after, too.”
An initial payment from £5,000 and a quarterly fee of just over £35 (that is around £140 a year), which can increase in line with but not exceed the Retail Price Index Excluding Mortgage Interest (RPIX), gives you access to all HPB’s holiday homes. For each HPB holiday, you will pay a no-profit user charge covering only property running and maintenance costs and use of on-site facilities. The charge is the same throughout the year and for a studio averages about £347 a week and around £533 a week for a 2-bedroom property. Larger properties are also available. After an initial charge of 25% your money is invested in a fund of holiday properties and securities. The fund itself meets annual charges of 2.5% of its net assets at cost, calculated monthly. Your investment return is purely in the form of holidays and, as with most investments, your capital is at risk. You can surrender your investment to the company after two years or more (subject to deferral in exceptional circumstances) but you will get back less than you invested because of the charges referred to above, as well as other overheads and changes in the value of the fund’s properties and securities.
This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited (HPBM), the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM. HPB is issued by HPB Assurance Limited (HPBA) registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA. Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies.