As lockdown continues to ease and hordes hit Britain’s most popular beaches, holidaymakers and house hunters in the know are turning their attentions to more glamorous staycation destinations.
Estate agents Knight Frank report a 216 per cent increase in searches for coastal properties from the week before lockdown to the week ending 13 June and, perfect for both real and virtual escapism, the UK’s most sought-after coastal hotspots are also some of its most picturesque.
Just along the coast from crowded Bournemouth, Sandbanks now has average asking prices of £1.24 million, down one per cent on last year, while Canford Cliffs has average prices of just over £1 million, up four per cent.
Panorama Road, on the Sandbanks Peninsula, was one of the UK’s most sought-after streets last year, with an average house price of £2.8 million.
Both seaside spots are long-time favourites of the rich and famous, with football legend Harry Redknapp and the late former Beatle John Lennon among celebrities who have owned mega mansions dotting the exclusive waterfront.
A picture-perfect sailing destination popular with holidaymakers and second home buyers, Salcombe in South Devon is third on the list of the UK’s most expensive seaside towns. Average asking prices are £730,000, down 0.7 per cent from last year.
Singer Kate Bush and Prince Louis’ favourite baker, Mary Berry, are among celebrities to have lived in the area.
Fourth and fifth on the list are Aldeburgh in Suffolk, known for its vibrant arts and music scene, where average prices are £571,000, and Milford-on-Sea, near the market town of Lymington in Hampshire, where it now costs £565,000 to buy on average.
Other exclusive areas to feature in the top 10 are fishing port and foodie destination Padstow in Cornwall, where asking prices are around £497,000, and London commuter hotspot Brighton, where house prices now average £416,600.
Cheapest UK seaside locations
The cheapest seaside locations include Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland, where the average asking price of a home has risen by 9.2 per cent in a year to £109,888; Blackpool in Lancashire (£127,954) and Redcar in Cleveland (£135,917).
Most in-demand seaside towns
Historic Whitby in North Yorkshire, famed for the cliff-top Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey — novelist Bram Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula — attracted more property searches than any other British coastal location last month, according to Rightmove.
There were more than 350,000 searches on Rightmove for homes in Whitby during May, an increase of 25 per cent on last year, in yet another clear sign that buyers are emerging from lockdown with a renewed list of priorities, including outside space and seaside views.
“Having the chance to look out of your window to a sea view is something many home hunters tell us is a dream of theirs,” says Rightmove property expert, Miles Shipside.
“Lockdown has changed what a number of people are now looking for from their next home, and while some are seeking more space or a bigger garden, others are now contemplating a move to the seaside,” he adds.