Coasting home? Our shift to the seaside

Posted on 24 Aug, 2020

It is apt that the phrase ‘shifting sands’ is most pertinent during our changeable lockdown environment, although one thing is proving a constant – thousands of people are looking to overhaul their lifestyles and they see their ‘new normal’ in a coastal location. All the major property portals have seen a surge in seaside property searches, with lists being drawn up of emerging hotspots.

Rightmove’s lockdown list of the UK’s most in-demand coastal locations includes Whitby in North Yorkshire; Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear; Troon in Ayrshire; Padstow in Cornwall; Newquay in Cornwall; Salcombe in Devon; Ayr in Ayrshire; Bude in Cornwall; Caister-On-Sea in Norfolk and Ilfracombe in Devon. Elsewhere, The Guardian flagged up Dunbar in East Lothian and Port Isaac in Cornwall as sought-after seaside towns.

As well as home movers looking to up sticks in search of sand between their toes, our current climate is seeing a renaissance of the staycation, with overseas travel put somewhat on the back burner. As a result, interest in coastal property investment is building, reflected by news of Leeds Building Society reintroducing its range of holiday let mortgages and buoyed by the detail that the stamp duty freeze includes purchases of second/additional/holiday properties.

Viewber has taken a more in-depth look at five coastal locations where the tide has turned for the better. While they all have that magical combination of sea and salty air, they are all areas experiencing house prices rises*.


For really remote working

Winner: The Isle of Arran off the Scottish Troon coastline and across the Firth of Clyde is ideal for those who have agreed a permanent ‘working from home’ arrangement. Its island status ensures there is enough coastline to go round, with crystal clear waters and golden sands set against a mountainous backdrop. If you’re ready to take the ferry, expect to pay an average property price of £226,795, although this figure is liable to change as values already rose 3% in the last 12 months.

For the culture vulture

Winner: Margate on the Kent coast once traded on its faded glamour and Dreamland funfair but the arts set have moved in, turning this once family favourite into the new Brick Lane-by-Sea. While Tracey Emin and the Turner Gallery set the pace, others followed and now you can’t move an inch without bumping into a bearded hipster or a cold-brew coffee shop. Prices are still relatively sensible – expect to pay an average of £139,433 for a flat or £290,074 for a semi-detached property, although sold prices in Margate were up 5% up the previous year and look set to rise.

For a sense of déjà vu

Winner: Clevedon in Somerset has been well documented on the small and silver screen, with David Tennant’s Broadchurch and Jane Austen’s Sanditon using the sweeping vistas as a film set. It’s easy to see why, as there’s a handsome pier and streets lined with beautiful boutiques. As with many waterside locations that became a fixation of the Victorians, the legacy is some beautiful period properties. Prices are already rising in Clevedon – up 3% in the last year, with terraced properties selling for an average of £249,560 and detached houses fetching £505,850.

For the middle-class masses

Winner: Rock is just one of many Cornish coastal hotspots that have attracted grockles over the years – not a shellfish delicacy but the unflattering name given to holidaymakers invading the South West in particular. Set just across the Camel Estuary from Padstow, Rock features a wide expanse of golden sand just crying out for a bucket and spade. This mecca for Michelin-starred chefs, MPs and minor royalty will cost you millions and like the tide, prices are rising.

A detached property currently sells for an average of £1,158,467, with prices already up 33% in the last year.

For the best commute back to London

Winner: Leigh-on-Sea in Essex has all the coastal qualities required for a lifestyle change, with the added bonus of being able to swap occasional trips to the city for cockle sheds in less than an hour. In fact, the super-fast train line to London takes as little as 41 minutes. When happily back on the coast, residents enjoy art galleries, fish restaurants and picturesque sunsets abound. Expect to pay an average of £255,580 for a flat or £399,747 for a semi-detached property although like other coastal areas, prices are set to sky rocket, with a rise of 4% seen in the last 12 months.


*All prices provided sourced from Rightmove, 16th July 2020

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