5 Sep 2016
Author: Stephen Breen
Could you commute from the coast?
For many of us, owning a holiday home next to the coast is a retirement dream. But some have found a way to combine the joys of a holiday retreat with their daily working life by setting up home next to the sea and commuting in to work. With the stamp duty hike on second homes and the uncertainty in the property market post-Brexit, buying a seaside home and commuting in seems to make more sense than investing in a holiday home that only gets used at the weekends.
Consequently, the prices of homes next to the sea- in areas such as Formby and Southport – are rising. Research Analyst at Hamptons International David Fell revealed that last month, a fifth of homes located in Britain’s coastal resorts sold for more than the asking price. This is the highest proportion seen since 2007. The trend, according to Fell, is due to a change in profile of those purchasing such properties. Once, this market was dominated by retirees and second home-owners. Increasingly, as rail links to major towns improve, commuters are snapping up these properties. Naturally, the demographics of the most popular commuter towns are changing as a result. Coastal resorts are seeing an influx of younger and more affluent buyers, helping to improve their economies and at the same time, their reputations.
Top seaside commuter areas
When it comes to property prices, Leigh-on-Sea in Essex has seen the best growth. Here, prices have risen by 20% over the past year – compared with just 11% in London. Leigh-on-Sea is the perfect base for those working in London – a train to Fenchurch Street takes around 46 minutes, and properties cost on average £273,435 – about half the cost of a London property. The most popular area is near the Broadway. Here, commuters can pick up a three bedroom 1930s house for around £360,000 – the same as a small flat in a London suburb.
The knock-on effect of commuters investing in this seaside town is evident. Independent shops, boutiques, coffee shops, bars and restaurants have sprung up, giving the resort a new lease of life.
Formby in Merseyside is another popular destination. The area is known for its large properties, beautiful beach and sand dunes, and has always been an attraction for the wealthier commuters. Prices in this area have risen 13% with an average of £261,980. Commuters can easily access Liverpool from here, and feasibly Manchester as well.