Why live on the coast?

Published Dec 10, 2018 – 4 mins read

While nowhere in the UK is further than 70 miles from the coast – making it within most peoples’ reach within an hour or so – around 3 million people choose to get as close as they can to the sea with coastal living. And no wonder – the attractions of coastal living are numerous.

That is normally taken as a self-evident fact but we’ll explore it in more detail here.

In the interests of objectivity, we also consider some of the issues that need to be taken into consideration before purchasing coastal properties.

The attractions of the coastline

The most obvious benefit of living near the sea is, of course, the views!

Most people find little to be as pleasant as strolling along a coastal path, beachcombing, simply looking at the waves from the cliff tops or taking part in water-sports.

There are many other potential reasons to look at coastal properties:

  • some of the earliest settlements around the British Isles were around coastal and estuary locations. As a result, some coastal towns are amongst the most picturesque and historic in the country;
  • although the exact biological effects are sometimes debated, it’s widely accepted that plain old “sea air” can be beneficial to aspects of your personal health;
  • providing you have identified the right type of property in the right location, coastal properties tend to be a sound financial platform over time;
  • properties along the south-east and south-western coastline of England are very conveniently located for access to the channel ports and through them, continental Europe.

That’s a very powerful list of persuaders to encourage looking carefully at properties that facilitate coastal living.

A little counterweight

Of course, there are a few things that inevitably need to be taken into account. They might include:

  • by definition, good coastal properties in attractive locations are always in high demand. This inevitably has an effect on prices and competition;
  • in coastal locations, properties are subject to rather more demanding extremes of weather than might be the case inland. That might demand a lot in terms of your ongoing external property maintenance and related overheads;
  • in some locations, coastal towns and villages can become very busy with tourist traffic at peak holiday times;

These are all factors we as an experienced property finder will take into account when searching for a property on your behalf.

Coastal locations in the UK

Without contradicting anything said above, not all coastal locations in Britain are already highly developed in terms of the property market and prices.

Typically, the hot spots for prices and competition might be located in the coastal areas running from the southwest tip of Cornwall north up to Bristol and beyond into South Wales. The line running from Cornwall along the southern coast and winding northwards through coastal areas of East Anglia is another already popular area in – general terms.

That’s because many of those locations will have a highly developed tourism industry and also be within relatively easy reach of London.

If you are seeking a property with development and value growth potential, there might be more readily available lower-cost opportunities along other coastal areas of the country including Wales and the northwest of England, much of both the west and east coasts of Scotland and the northeast coast of England.

Although there is a tendency to associate better weather with the southern half of the UK, some parts of the northeast coastline have surprisingly high annual average sunshine statistics.

Considerations with coastal properties

When searching for properties located in prime coastal locations, many of the factors you will take into account will not differ significantly from those associated with any other property.

You will obviously be looking closely at things such as the survey report, its general appearance, size and condition.

There are though some other factors that are perhaps more important when considering coastal living:

  • the external condition of the property needs to be particularly closely examined, due to the unforgiving nature of the salty air and high winds that can be experienced by the sea;
  • some coastal locations can be siren-like in their picturesque appeal but they may not have particularly good links to the main road and rail transport networks;
  • certain particularly quiet coastal areas may be relatively distant from the nearest good schools;
  • it’s important to get professional advice relating to any flood risks that may arise in the local area. These are normally readily available and a property finder or surveyor should be able to advise you on the specific risks, if any, associated with the property and its location;
  • as mentioned above, it’s important to be clear what living in an extremely popular tourist centre might mean during the summer months. Local knowledge is essential to help clarify what the reality is and whether or not that would meet your lifestyle expectations;
  • properties located on cliffs or steep inclines overlooking the sea will obviously need to be closely inspected to identify any potential subsidence or coastal erosion risks;
  • how you plan to use the property. It’s important to understand what the local regulations are relating to that. Some local authorities have rules designed to stop property purchases for second homes but they may be more flexible in situations where they know the property will also be used to provide occasional rental accommodation.

How to find coastal properties

The UK coastline is long and highly diverse.  We can work with you to identify the area or areas that you would like to purchase in.

It cannot be stressed strongly enough just how dynamic the market can be where quality coastal properties are concerned.  Many such properties never even make it onto the open market and are often sold through established networks of property professionals.

That is something we will be able to engage in on your behalf.

Coastal living can be magnificent if you have secured a property of your dreams in the right location.  Why not give us a call today to see how we can help?