The South West’s property market update

Posted on 4 Mar, 2019


The South West property market has a cult celebrity following thanks to its tropical[ish] climate, culinary culture and stunning landscape/beaches. It’s these same facets that attract holiday makers and property investors in droves, keen to take advantage of the short lets and Airbnb marketplace.

As a result, properties in prime SW locations often carry a premium. You have to pick your way through celebrity chefs (Gordon Ramsey in Rock and Rick Stein in Padstow), ex PMs (David Cameron in Trebetherick); artists (Damien Hirst in Ilfracombe), and comedians (Dawn French in Fowey and Harry Enfield in Rock) to find pockets of affordability.

The South West’s appeal doesn’t seem to be diminishing either. The latest House Price Index Report from the Nationwide (Q4 for 2018) shows an average house price of £244,304 in the South West – a 2% rise in the last quarter and uplift of 1.9% over the last year.

Coastal living at its best – and most expensive

Average house prices in British seaside towns increased by 21% in the past decade, say the Halifax, and the price rises have been keenly felt along the South West coast. In fact, Salcombe in Devon is the second most expensive seaside town in the UK with an average property price of £557,591, only kept off the top spot by Dorset’s Sandbanks.

The list of top 10 most expensive seaside towns was dominated by the South West, with Padstow (£435,833); Dartmouth (£431,539); Fowey (£403,622) and Budleigh Salterton (£396,043) also making the cut.

City living also comes at a price...

While the South West is renowned for its coastline and fishing villages, city living also comes at a premium. Lloyds Bank recently published a list of the 20 least affordable cities in the UK, with Truro, Bath and Exeter all featuring – three places where the house price to earnings ratio was above 9 (the UK city average is 7.2).

...and so does a countryside setting

Lloyds Bank also released its findings relating to living in a national park. Those wishing to live on Exmoor (Somerset/Devon borders) can expect to pay a 32% premium, with properties in Dartmoor (Devon) carrying a 19% premium – that’s average house prices of £330,975 and £300,598, respectively.

Rental values are rampant

The latest HomeLet Rental Index from January 2019 shows that rental values in the South West are outperforming the rest of the UK. While the South West’s average monthly rent of £859 lags behind that of London and the South East, the region posted the strongest monthly rental value growth (3.1%) and annual growth (5.1%) in the UK.


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