Londoners have been working themselves up into a lather over hot tubs and are even putting their summer holidays on hold to invest in one, it has been claimed.
Hot tub sales have been positively steaming despite the tough economic climate, as homeowners choose to invest in their own property rather than fork out for a trip abroad, according to the London branch of one company.
Richard Bailey, branch manager of HotSpring World in Enfield, North London, says the UK’s hot tub market is now second only to the US. Sales of hot tubs in Britain have even surged ahead of Scandinavia, a traditional hot tub heartland.
“The industry has been booming for quite a while,” said Bailey.
“The recession has definitely helped and especially in recent years companies have been going from strength to strength. People are not splashing out on holidays but instead investing in their properties and it is doing our industry a world of good.
“More people are doing that whole ‘staycation’ thing or buying hot tubs for their holiday homes. People are investing quite a bit in themselves and treating themselves. It is no longer seen as a luxury playboy item, its health benefits are being recognised.”
Typically, Londoners will have less space than your average Scandinavian property owner and any garden space at all could be considered a luxury. But Bailey says people in the capital have been soaking up advice to fit a hot tub in their property.
“Anyone can have a hot tub,” he said. “The size and shapes range from a small two-seater to a 10-seater and even swim spas, which are like mini swimming pools with a hot tub on the end.
“In London, where space is at a premium, four or five seaters are popular and are about two metres square in size. If people want one they will go to great lengths to fit them in.”
But neighbours are not always enamoured to see a hot tub set up in their neighbour’s garden and the electrically heated communal baths have been named among the top 10 irritants to ruin a peaceful day in the garden.
The survey by BBC’s Gardeners’ World magazine found neighbours were unhappy with the “bubbling sound” and the noisy late-night parties hot tub owners host.
But Bailey says neighbours rarely complain about hot tubs and are more likely to drop round with a bottle of wine and take up an offer to try it out.
“It is very rare you will get any complaints from neighbours. Some people are worried about the neighbours when they buy, but they tend to be people who don’t go for music systems and TVs, they just want it for personal use. If they are worried the neighbours will look in they will buy a building to cover it.
“They are amazing social items, they bring people closer together.”
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