Living by the sea brings with it a host of benefits from a stunning landscape to healthy sea air and means people with their home by the coast can enjoy the best of the British summer whenever they have free time without needing to travel.
Brits don’t always get the wonderful summer that we have been fortunate enough to get in 2016, but even when the weather is bad there are still many benefits to coastal living.
The UK has some fantastic areas to live on the coast from the rugged, dramatic coastline of Cornwall and the South West of England to the glitzy, raucous resorts of Blackpool or Brighton and a myriad of options in between.
Because of its unusual shape there is around 7,700 miles of coastland around the whole of the UK, much of it beautiful, some functional, but most of it home to communities of some sort.
Why choose the coast?
Living by the sea is often relaxing and there is scientific reason for that. Research shows that listening to the sound of the waves puts the human brain into a relaxed state, improving sleep. Sea air has negative ions in it which are healthy because they accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen and balance serotonin levels. This is why after a holiday by the sea many people feel more relaxed.
Although bracing the sea around the UK coast is often not for the faint-hearted, if you regularly bathe in the sea, your body receives health benefits from the salty water and because by floating in the water blood is diverted towards the heart because you are no longer standing up. This brings more oxygen to the brain which makes you more active and alert.
Aside from the health benefits, the UK coastline features some of the attractive natural landscapes in the UK. There are also opportunities for surfers and sailors alike and there are many footpaths that follow the coastline. For relaxing, the beaches offer the delights of seaside piers, ice-cream cones, family day-outs and wonderful seafood restaurants and excellent pubs.
What distinct features do coastal homes have?
A view is important for most homes, but is perhaps even more so for a home on the coast. A sea view can be tranquil and relaxing in the summer or brutally inspiring in the winter as the waves crash against the shore.
Coastal homes come in all shapes and sizes from bungalows to expansive beachside retreats. There is also a big difference in house prices in different locations. Most of us won’t be able to afford to live in places like Salcombe or Padstow but can perhaps take heart from the fact that for the price of a small cottage in Salcombe, you could buy a new build four-bedroom house in somewhere like Hastings, East Sussex and pay a lot less if you live in a coastal area in many other parts of the UK.
House prices in coastal towns
Research shows that there are still many bargain locations by the sea that have not yet seen as high price increases as some coastal areas.
Savills published research in June that illustrates this. It found that overall there was an 11.7% premium to live within 100 metres of the coast, compared to living up to 1km away. It also found wide variations in the prices of coastal locations, compared to house prices in the surrounding area.
For instance, in the 12 months to February 2016, Salcombe has the highest price premium for property sales in that period, of 128% above the county average, at £540,000. Heswall in Merseyside is second with a 106% premium taking prices recorded there up to £321,000. By contrast Looe in Cornwall has just a 1% premium, at £243,000 and Peacehaven in East Sussex is 13% below the county average at £263,000.
Meanwhile, Knight Frank published its Waterfront View report which found that prices for prime coastal properties in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall are up to 71% higher than other properties just a mile inland. Using Land Registry data on actual sales since 1995, Knight Frank has calculated the house price performance of coastal property relative to the average increase. It found Croyde in North Devon outperformed the rest of the coastal market by 4.1% annually, equating to 122% over 21 years. Rock, Salcombe, Padstow and Falmouth are also hotspots identified in the research too.
WhatHouse? has uncovered four properties from around the UK’s coastline that detail some of the benefits of living by the coast. They have all been entered into the WhatHouse? Awards 2016.
'The Beaufort', Marine Drive (Bovis Homes)
'The Beaufort', Marine Drive, Teignmouth in Devon is a lovely five-bedroom home that features a stunning glass frontage and multi-level balconies to take advantage of the gorgeous views of the Devon coast, Teign Estuary and Shaldon Bay.
Its open-plan kitchen and dining room has bi-fold doors to the balcony and French doors to the garden, ideal for outdoor entertaining and for enjoying the views of the coast. The home itself is modern, light and airy and includes a fitted kitchen and excellent use of space.
Prices from £569,995. Find out more about The Beaufort from Bovis Homes
The Rowan (Dandara)
The Rowan at Ballakilley, Port Erin, a seaside village in the south of The Isle of Man, is a three- to four-bedroom dormer-style property designed as a flexible family home.
It is a low-maintenance property and has bedrooms on both floors so is a good option for multi-generational living as older people or relatives can have a bedroom on the ground floor.
It has white, rendered outside walls and inside the home there are high levels of light and space because of the double-height hallway and internal glazed doors.
Port Erin sits within a secluded bay, has excellent sandy beaches and plenty of glorious walking trails. Water sport enthusiasts can visit secret marine caves only accessible by sea kayak or yacht and powerboat trips are available.
To find out more visit www.dandara.com ; 01624 615000
Martello Park (Bloor Homes)
Martello Park, Felixstowe in Suffolk is on the South Seafront and has been transformed from a patch of rough wasteland featuring just a few prefabricated concrete garages and old derelict buildings to a new development of 127 family homes featuring landscaped parkland and access to the shingle beach with the characterful Martello Tower as its focal point.
The maritime park acts as a gateway to the beaches and to the Landguard Peninsula, a nature reserve designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
There are a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom homes available many with seafront vistas and landscape planting around the site replicates the coastal character of the shingle areas by using species such as marram grass and gorse.
Find out more about Martello Park from Bloor Homes
Harbour Lights Court, North Quay in Weymouth, is a retirement village of 43 one- and two-bedroom apartments overlooking the picturesque Weymouth harbour and offers a relaxing lifestyle for older homeowners in a beautiful development.
It has been carefully designed to reflect the character of Weymouth’s Georgian seafront. It has a terrace overlooking the harbour and a courtyard garden to enjoy the view of the busy harbour and seafront.
It is also just 400 metres from the main high street and shopping facilities. The apartments are spacious and designed to help homeowners maintain their independence.
Find out more about Harbour Lights from McCarthy & Stone