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Mon 16 April 2018
What is an uninterrupted sea view really worth? Well, over the years there have been various conflicting assessments of the premium added to a house by virtue of being near the water. For my part, I’d be very confident in saying that a sea view means a property is worth at least 30% more than it would do if it were inland.
It’s hard to compare, of course, as you’ll never get two properties that are exactly alike. In fact, if you assess our figures here at Stags, our Waterside properties actually end up selling for well above 30% more per square foot than similar ones inland. But I’d certainly be very comfortable settling on that 30% uplift as a figure vendors can expect when selling a waterside property.
And by waterside, I mean houses that are right by the sea with uninterrupted views of the water from most windows. Go a street back, and that premium you pay will diminish somewhat. It’s all about proximity.
2018 has seen an incredibly busy start for the waterside housing market across the South West. Here at Stags, our waterside property sales are up 63% on 2017, and 25% up on 2016, which was a record breaking year in its own right.
We are now entering the traditionally busy spring market which has always been when buyers start their search in earnest, in order to find a new home before the summer when owning a seafront home with waterside views or access to the beach comes into its own.
It is not only sailing, surfing, swimming, and taking in the fresh sea air, that make living beside the sea so popular. There is something very special about being able to look out of your kitchen window or step outside your front door and be immediately greeted by sandy beaches and the rippling of crystal clear waters. Particularly in the South West the coastal amenities that attract holidaymakers, such as good pubs, restaurants, tennis and golf clubs, add significantly to the quality of life for holiday makers and residents alike.
So how is the waterside market changing these days?
Well, until about 15 years ago, there was a strong bias towards the south coast of our peninsula in terms of property prices. Yachting really drove demand and places like Salcombe and Dartmouth really topped the chart in terms of desirability. Today, however, that has changed, due to the explosion of interest in surfing along the region’s north coast.
Now, well-heeled buyers in search of a second home or a fresh start are as likely to be hankering after rolling Atlantic swell and big sandy beaches as they are looking for estuary views and riverside moorings.
And moorings are something that has really changed too. There was a time – pre the 2008 financial crisis – when it was very difficult to get a mooring in a desirable marina or harbour. Today, that has really changed. Partly it is because fewer people own their own boats any more – we’re working too hard, and it is such an expensive hobby. We’re more likely to hire boats now and then. Also, more marinas have come on stream. Two new ones have opened in Plymouth just recently. For that reason, the days when you’d have a 20-year waiting list to moor your boat are over, which is good news for those who wish to do just that.
Our Stags Waterside department covers every inch of the West Country coastline. I’m often asked where the best value waterside properties are to be found and there are some bargains to be had. I have to admit, before we opened our Stags office in Torquay, I didn’t know the town all that well but since visiting and looking at properties there, I am struck with what good value the properties are there. Torbay has some lovely beaches, there is a vibrant marina in Torquay and, with a new road linking the town to Exeter and the A38/M5, the town is definitely on the up. The yachting/waterside lifestyle there is definitely more affordable than in places such as Topsham, Dartmouth or Salcombe.
Another stretch of coastline that is worth exploring is along the south east coast of Cornwall, taking in the villages of Seaton, Portwrinkle and Downderry. This used to be known as Cornwall’s forgotten corner but these days it is much more on the map with buyers keen to purchase homes here, either for holidays or when relocating from London and the Home Counties. When a Radio One DJ (Zane Low) chooses Seaton for his new home, you know the area is getting popular. But it still compares very well price-wise with more well-known stretches of the Cornish coast such as the Helford estuary and the area around Rock and Padstow.
All in all, we’re blessed here in the South West with hundreds of miles of fabulous coastal waters, and some wonderful properties overlooking them. It’s a lifestyle that, I am sure, will never lose its allure.
For this reason, Stags is encouraging owners of waterside properties to think about putting their homes on the market this spring/summer. It’s the right time to market your property. Now is the season people aspire to life beside the sea, whether they are keen surfers, enjoy yachting or simply want that fabulous view of the water.