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Holiday Property Bond - anyone have any feedback?

(38 Posts)
nicecupofteaplease Fri 04-Oct-13 09:34:29


We are considering investing in this but just a bit wary as their website and brochure are very opaque and we are not entirely convinced by it. Essentially it looks to be set up for older couples, but I wanted to see if anyone with a young family has invested and what your experience has been.

I'm guessing that you wouldn't get very much for a family of 5 during school holidays compared to what you could afford as a retired couple who could book holidays outside peak times. Hopefully I'm wrong!

Does anyone have a copy of a points chart they would be willing to share? It's not on their website, nor in the brochure you send off for (which looks just like a hard copy of the website with lovely photos but zero financial info - I just find it a bit odd when they're trying to encourage you to invest thousands of pounds not to be more transparent)

Thanks in advance

SarahDillon38 Mon 30-May-16 23:20:18

Avoid HPB at all costs! Whenever a review site broaches HPB, it's immediately hijacked by a rush of fake posters, gushing with joy about its services, all of whom work for this tinpot establishment in Newmarket.

It's an oily set up, from what I hear locally.

Dagwoodbumbstead Mon 30-May-16 10:05:48


I invested in this HPB bond a few years ago after my wife and I attended an open day at one of their sites and was subsequently seduced by their marketing propaganda and high gloss to invest in the bond, much now to our great regret. The marketing blurb espouses that this is a unique idea of being a ‘life assurance bond linked to a portfolio of quality holiday properties which allows its investors to holiday rent free in all its properties for life’. This is simply not true as you are mandated to pay a weekly maintenance charge on every property that is booked along with committing your purchased points. £1 buys you one point and you will require around 15000 points to hire a two bedroom apartment in the summer months in addition to paying around £450 as a weekly maintenance charge on every property. You can hire a very nice apartment or cottage from several reputable companies for around the same amount you have to pay HBP but you have not had to invest a lump sum which you will never see returned if ever you wanted to encash in your ‘so called investment’. Look at Sykes Cottages, Kathy’s Cottages or the NT Cottages to name just a few companies to substantiate the claim I am making.

We have invested 20K about ten years ago and today’s evaluation if I chose to surrender my bond I would lose around 50% of my original investment. Yes, it is quite true that we have had a number of holidays in the meantime but at around £450 maintenance charge a week they have hardly been ‘rent free’. The ‘Life Assurance’ claim is also a bit mythical because it is just words on paper which transpires to be a totally worthless notion. There are also other on-going costs which are paid annually as part of the commitment which you make when you contract. Quite apart from the complex rationale of the points system and the equally mysterious system for calculating your investment on surrender, as a mortal mathematician I am totally mystified how it is all works out. To say that this is an investment in ‘rent free holidays’ is misleading and if this type of affirmation leads you into a contact it is very questionable that this fact has been a misrepresentation and if so could justifiably result in a repudiated contract.

The guys who manage this organisation are very astute individuals to have conceived this ‘modern time share idea’ and to have registered this company in the Isle of Man for obvious reasons are to be commended for their foresight. This initiative has resulted in a very successful portfolio of property which the ordinary Bondholders have contributed totally to, but regrettably reap very few benefits that they are not continually paying for. I wish I would have listened to my gut instinct prior to proceeding with this initiative after being seduced by their persuasive and plausible marketing patter………Proceed with caution if you consider investing, I very much regret doing so.

Dagwoodbumbstead586 Fri 27-May-16 10:34:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lozzzaa78 Sun 28-Sep-14 22:39:20

If you want only fools and horses with a fry up don't bother investing. Fantastic facilities and accomadation. 3 generations going to Majorca this week. You pay for what you get. If you can't afford it that's life. Magaluff is closer to the airport

TheBogQueen Mon 04-Aug-14 21:30:13

V v mc

Like a travelling golf club. Lots of 'what you driving now?'convos . But y'know it's always clean, accommodation a good quality, v helpful when you are there . Lots of kids in summer , greyhaired couples rest of the year.

Hayleyktf Mon 04-Aug-14 20:49:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bakingtins Sun 27-Jul-14 19:36:55

My parents and PIL are bond holders, the bonds will be passed on to us eventually and we are named on the bonds so could use their points. My parents use most of their points to take one of my siblings' families away for a week in school holidays, then they travel short notice /points free the rest of the time, using their bond at least 4-5 times a year. PIL use it for ski lodges and we don't get a look in (fair enough) We've stayed in several properties and they have been fantastic, plenty of facilities for families/kids. I would think most bond holders are older/retired, with flexibility to use the points free holidays, and the younger families there are adult children and grandchildren. Both sets of parents are very happy with it.

travellermum Sun 27-Jul-14 19:21:22

This is an interesting thread. We dithered about HPB for years - it had been on our radar for ages, but like some folk on here we were apprehensive about the upfront investment. OH and I have always considered ourselves 'free spirits' and enjoyed independent holidays.

But we took the plunge at the end of last year and put a modest sum in HPB, with a view to finding out if it would meet our expectations. The children have left home now, so we have some additional flexibility to travel.

Surprisingly, in six months we've managed to stay at 8 different properties on short breaks - 7 in the UK and one in Spain - all at short notice, without using any points. We've booked a trip to La Gomera in the autumn using points. The website is good and you can check availability at any time, see what is available points-free and book online. Alternatively, you can speak to somebody on the phone at the reservation centre in Newmarket.

Hugely impressed so far and wonder why we waited so long - the kids would have loved it when they were younger. The standard of accommodation is high, likewise the facilities and the staff. Housekeeping has been excellent, and you can say whether you like duvets or sheets and blankets on the beds. Whilst we feel we now know exactly what to expect in terms of quality; the locations we've been to have been fascinating - a mixture of historic and newer places. The sites all have facilities for children, and the bigger ones appear to be especially well equipped from what we've seen to date.

On the whole it appears senior management within HPB plough a lot of money back into upgrading and refurbishing the accommodation, without visibly skimping on anything. The financial side of things is a tad complex, but with a 30 years+ track record and still growing, they must be doing something right. And because 'Bondholders' have a financial stake, they tend to treat the properties with a lot of respect.

How much you choose to spend on a holiday is a bit like 'how long is a piece of string'. HPB is not particularly cheap, but in my opinion it is good value for money.

No regrets and looking forward to taking the family with us soon.

langham Sat 26-Jul-14 16:41:30

Been a bondholder for several years- joined up when eldest was small because we were fed up with rentals that cost a lot and were not safe for babies/toddlers. Had loads of great holidays-not every bondholder is retired! Been great for the kids as they grew up - in school hols there are loads of others for them to play with. You do need to be organised to book for school hols. We had no hard sell when they called on us at home by appointment. I would suggest that if you want to know something just ask them!

charleybarley Tue 22-Jul-14 19:29:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rjf50 Tue 22-Jul-14 12:31:38

We've been Members of 7 years investing about £40k attracted by the sophisticated in perpetuity financial structure, the breadth and standard of the properties and not having to buy and maintain a flipping holiday home

I've read several blogs on this site and can confirm
(i) that it's totally legit to quote my kids. Properties are all good and/or magnificent; some are in sensational venues like Turunc in Turkey - Sky Trossachs and Hilguy in Brittany but it is not Club 18-30 or even Club Med so no discos and you will have to transport teens to party venues. However you are saving so much money that you can afford it.
(ii) some of the properties are older so smaller kitchens no dishwashers etc some are newer and more luxurious.
(iii) the former are cheaper in terms of points need to book a week, and the latter more points hungry. Makes sense.
(iv) in the larger properties during the school hols of course there are plenty of kids around.
(v) my subjective comment is that there is a (perfectly harmless but) pretentious & bourgouis element to the whole thing - you are addressed & referred to repeatedly & ubiquitously as "Bond Holders" and there's undoubtedly a retirees bent to the whole thing. Very respectable but not sexy. If you invest enough money you can take friends and make your own party !

Hope that helps

fussychica Thu 15-May-14 14:07:21

We met some bond holders whilst we were in Spain last month - they raved about it and wondered if we were bond holders too. They were retired and said the standard of the accommodation was great and they have been to lots of the sites. I thought the biggest downside was the relatively limited number of countries they have on offer.

rs1969 Wed 14-May-14 17:59:29

It's noticeable that nearly all those writing in favour are using someone else's points. In other words they haven't had to fork out for the original investment of several thousand pounds, and they don't pay the annual charge of about £120, they aren't losing the use of (interest on) the quite substantial sum tied up in this scheme, and they aren't losing a proportion of the capital value (because if you do try to cash it in you don't get back the full amount unless you've held it for several years). As far as I can see from the few examples the company gives on their website, the weekly service charge is only a little less than you'd pay for a holiday you arranged yourself. I'd avoid it.

OldBeanbagz Mon 28-Apr-14 09:00:18

My ILs are bondholders and we've used their points a few times. We've even managed to take holidays in school holidays.

All the sites are incredibly well run with great facilities for both adults and children. We've generally organised our own travel though i know the ILs used HPB agency when they went to La Gomera.

It seems more useful for older people who are able to travel outside of school holidays and get the benefits of 'points free' bookings.

DH and i considered investing but decided we like the freedom of choice when it comes to booking holidays. We like to try new places and often travel long haul.

amispeakingenglish Sun 27-Apr-14 16:44:29

I was wondering, I have 4 teens and booked hols are a problem with the rooms as I have one son, do you think it would be of benefit, I haven't got money to throw around. What worries me is the flights, what are the prices like through HPB agency? What happens if you book a holiday and then can't get flights? Do you need a hire car if staying in a villa? I was thinking of booking a home visit but do they try and leave with you money in their pocket? If I invest I would like to go abroad this summer with me and the teens, can they bring a friend? This is a lot of questions but I wanted some answers before booking the home visit.

Cutlass27 Sat 26-Apr-14 13:56:03

I agree with grandma3plus1. We are just considering buying a bond and have gathered all the information and had a representative call with us. There is little point in talking about something if you don't have the CORRECT facts which unfortunately is the case with some of the contributors.
Ginontwowheels doesn't seem to realise that part of the package is the ability to book holidays "points free" where you pay the service charge only. Also concessionary long stay holidays where you use points for the first week only, pay the full service charge for the first week only and then pay 70% of the service charge for the remaining 3, 4, or more weeks that you stay.
There is little in this world that suits everyone and HPB I believe will suit some people particularly if you are retired with children, grand-children and have the health to travel and enjoy holidays though to my mind this is not a pre-requisite.

grandma3plus1 Sat 22-Mar-14 08:05:57

I've had HPB points for over 20 years and am very happy with them. Most of the negative points in this thread seem to come from people who are not bond holders and are passing on hearsay. I've never met anyone on an HPB site who was dissatisfied. There is no annual charge and the user charge, incurred only when actually renting a property, is to cover running costs, for gardens, pools, staff etc. My family will be renting a 4 bed villa on La Gomera next January and it works out at about £120 per person per week for the accommodation. We just had a week on Tenerife paying over £3000 for a villa which had endless problems and was really not as advertised. My point of comparison is to look at renting villas of a similar type and size in the same area and invariably they will cost anything up to 2 or 3 times the HPB user charge, without the security of knowing that you will be getting a high standard of property with no worries about maintenance and with many extra facilities to suit all ages. Any problems are solved pretty much instantly and you can always be sure of a high standard of equipment and cleanliness. Children are fully catered for and considered when properties are built/converted.
The best thing to do, as advised above, is to go to an open day or get one of their people to come and see you. You can always look round one of the UK properties to get an idea of the standards on the sites. I don't remember them being high pressure sales people and I have never found them to be anything but helpful. I believe the RAF Benevolent Fund use HPB because they always have good facilities for the disabled on every site.

justicewomen Thu 20-Mar-14 23:43:17

We are going to the HPB site at Constant in the Dordogne later this year.

My parents have been bondholders for years and our family have used the points / and points free to visit Madeira, Brittany, La Gomera, Tuscany, Portugal, Spain and all over the UK.The sites are very different but usually very attractive.

So, my son loves site like Madeira with lots of sports and pools whereas I loved one in Yorkshire with few facilities but a lovely location.

The villas/apartments are usually in traditional style buildings and very well equipped. Generally all the clubhouse facilities are free (like tennis courts, snooker, DVD libraries) and the customer service is excellent.

We could not afford to become bondholders but Im looking forward to our future holidays with Mum and Dad

blacktreaclecat Wed 05-Mar-14 12:25:21

My parents have been in HPB for 20 years now and it is great. We have had many happy holidays and have just booked our first holiday as a family of 3 ( me, H, DS who ei be just 2), at Biniorella in Majorca. We have booked a cot and high chair no problem. The user charge for this is £350 ish and 8000 points.

mottywood Mon 03-Mar-14 13:18:49

weve had our HPB point for about 25 years - in fact it was the current Chairman who sold them to my Mother. It is in effect an insurance policy registered i believe in the Isle Of Man so has to be passed on after your death, hence I inherited mine. Im just about to book our 5th trip to Turkey - ten mins walk from the beach, big villa and private pool. There is no yearly service charge and if you book late you dont always need to use your points (which stack up quickly) just pay your service charge. Weve never had any problems with any of the holidays and I always let them book my travel as the few times ive looked for cheaper options I couldnt find one.

jennifer2013 Wed 08-Jan-14 18:24:19

£2k a year Service charge?????????????????????
You don't pay a service charge with HPB!! You pay a user charge for the week(s) you actually use the accommodation, eg £287 (studio) To approx £513(sleeps 6 -8)Uk per week. You have to get the facts from HPB direct or go and visit a site in PERSON. We have always found the accommodation to be first class

GinOnTwoWheels Tue 07-Jan-14 13:40:13

My friends have one. They pay £2k per year in service charges even though they shelled out £12k initially.

So you pay an initial huge fee, plus £££s per year, and this allows you what? A 2 week holiday in a specific property? And it appears that there is no return on the investment? If you want to sell, you will get less back, not more?

This makes it seem really poor value to me - you could just use your £2k to rent a villa/apartment/hotel room at a location and time of your choosing every year, surely.

what is the advantage, apart from not having to choose and book somewhere - but you would still need to get flights and they might not be the best prices if you are tied to a particular period.

I just don't get the attraction, or am I missing something?

Sixtiesqueen Fri 03-Jan-14 18:14:30

My friends have one. They pay £2k per year in service charges even though they shelled out £12k initially.

They are quite limited in where they go on holiday. The accommodation is really lovely (4-5 star) but I've been to two of them and they are never very well located, ie the beach isn't very good or they aren't near the beach.

I'd avoid.

JJF2014 Fri 03-Jan-14 15:17:51

Can anyone shed any light on how this works as an investment? My parents have been bondholders for many years. It worked well for them but now they want out as they feel they are more suited to other types of holidays (e.g. non sc or holidays exclusively for older people). They say they invested around ~£11k in the bond, but the cash in value is now only ~£5k. Does this sound right to those of you who are bondholders? Because the cash in value is so low, they want to transfer the bond to my siblings and I. To answer the OPs question, my experience of HPB has been pretty good. I'm a named person on the bond so have used it a handful of times. The properties are of a high standard and customer service is good. User charges are low when you consider the good quality of the properties and range of facilities. The only issue for me is I am not organised enough to book far in advance and you really need to do this if you are restricted by school holidays.

wonkylegs Fri 27-Dec-13 21:39:53

My ILs are bondholders. We've been on various holidays with them. They are good and generally reliably furnished/facilities to a good standard etc. I think sometimes they are expensive for what they are though.
We've definitely stayed in some with babies and there were cots/highchairs available I think arranged in advance.
They can be full of retirees but they often bring their families with them so there are kids.
I was disappointed that the one in Portugal didn't have aircon and not many have dishwashers which as I hate washing up even more on holiday is a bit of a shame.

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