10 Best Property Hotspots for 2017

Photo: Lukasz Pajor

If you're dreaming of moving to the coast then we have some inspiration for you. Words: Lesley Gillilan

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 15:56

1. FOR A LIVELY SOCIAL LIFE
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

The ‘Biarritz of Wales’, as the Victorians called it, looked a lot less ritzy after storms ravaged the seafront back in 2014, but the damage was merely cosmetic – and you have to look a little deeper to appreciate Aberystwyth’s finer points. The Mid Wales town manages to combine a traditional seaside resort (pier, beaches and a cliff-climbing funicular railway) with a world-class university (and all the perks of student life), a busy arts scene and, according to a survey by Provident, the friendliest people in Britain. If you don’t mind being two hours away from the nearest city, bargain properties abound (five or six bedrooms for £2-300,000). Average house price: £203,400.
Photo: Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock

2. FOR ARTISTS
Bridlington, Yorkshire

David Hockney (whose Tate Britain show is currently breaking attendance records) no longer lives in Bridlington but much of his recent work was inspired by the East Riding countryside which rolls into the Wolds from its North Sea coast. The Yorkshire town is also within commuting distance of Hull – this year’s City of Culture. Its charming Old Town area is an emerging creative quarter where galleries sit alongside tea rooms and antique shops. As well as inspirational coastal landscapes, artists will find the affordable, local property prices hard to resist. Average house price: £154,933.
Photo: Northern-Light/Shutterstock

3. FOR FAMILIES AND FOODIES
Newquay, Cornwall

According to Christopher Bailey of Knight Frank, Newquay is ‘moving away from a stag/hen party destination to one of lifestyle and healthy living’. With good schools and great restaurants, a property boom is underway – but family-size houses are still affordable, and there are some interesting developments. Nansledan, a new community inspired by the Prince of Wales, combines slate and local stone, vernacular architecture and a whiff of the sea. The town’s seven gorgeous beaches are the icing on the cake. Average house price: £265,568.
Photo: Lukasz Pajor/Shutterstock

4. FOR THE V&A FACTOR
Dundee, Angus

This wee Scottish city, known mostly for jute fibre and fruit cake, is poised to become an international attraction as home to the V&A’s Museum of Design – the first British design museum to make it out of London. While architect Kengo Kuma’s dynamic building emerges on the regenerated waterfront, take the time to check out Dundee’s other assets: maritime museums, a thriving university, Angus castles on the doorstep and easy access to the beautiful Fife coast (on the other side of the Tay Bridge). Scotland’s V&A opens in 2020 – so you’ve got three years before prices start taking a hike. Average house price: £157,528.
Photo: Pefostudio5/Shutterstock

5. FOR THE FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
Margate, Kent

With the highest house-price increases of 2016, Margate was number one of the top 10 coastal hotspots by property website Zoopla, and it’s not hard to see why. The once down-at-heel Isle of Thanet town switched from tatty to trendy in the blink of an eye when Turner Contemporary opened six years ago. Since then Margate has seen revivals and new openings from Dreamland to the glamorous Sands Hotel, and though prices rose by 12.5 per cent last year, city incomers can still get excited about house prices – a shade below the national average. Average house price: £217,184.
Photo: Neil Lang/Shutterstock

6. FOR A PIONEERING SPIRIT
Ilfracombe, North Devon

Ilfracombe had one of its best tourist seasons ever in 2016 and, although it looks a little shabby around the edges and is not the easiest to reach, things are looking up in other ways. On the cards is the so-called Southern Extension, a 750-home development initiated by artist and long-term Ilfracombe pioneer, Damien Hirst. The town has cliffs, beaches and a ruggedly beautiful harbour. And for those who want to start a seaside business, Ilfracombe does a nice line in tired Victorian hotels and nursing homes offered for sale at a snip. Average house price: £232,846.
Photo: Ian Woolcock/Shutterstock

7. FOR A HANDY CITY FIX
Portishead, Somerset

According to estate agent Savills, this north Somerset town is on a hot list of ‘emerging prime coastal locations’, which means it’s in high demand but still has room for growth. Its Victorian High Street rubs shoulders with Portishead Marina (a 21st century dockland re-development); there is a boating lake, a lido, and views across the Severn Estuary towards South Wales, but much of the demand is driven by its close proximity to Bristol. ‘Portishead has been transformed from a sleepy dormitory town to a real alternative to city living with terrific local amenities,’ says David Wild of Savills. A planned rail link will cut the city commute to 17 minutes by 2020. Average house price: £338,174.
Photo: Mike Charles/Shutterstock

8. FOR AN EASY ISLAND LIFE
Ryde, Isle of Wight

Until a few years ago, the Isle of Wight’s largest Solent town was often overlooked in favour of posher, yachtier places like Cowes or Yarmouth, but all that’s changing. Identified as an ‘emerging prime location’, it’s now enjoying an uplift. ‘Ryde has seen some real improvements,’ says Marcus Waldron of local agent Hose Rhodes Dickson. And people are appreciating its existing assets: a golden-sand beach, wonderful views across the Solent, the island’s only fee-paying school and a relatively easy commute to London (Ryde Pier Head to Waterloo takes less than three hours). Gorgeous houses, too. ‘Architecturally it’s a really lovely town,’ he adds. Average house price: £213,124.
Photo: Ian Woolcock/Shutterstock

9. FOR DRAMATIC SCENERY
Ballycastle, County Antrim

At the heart of what is now known as ‘Game of Thrones Country’, this little town (crowned the best place to live in Northern Ireland in The Sunday Times' 2017 survey) is set against a backdrop of epic landscapes. Between the Giant’s Causeway, and the spectacular Antrim Glens, on a coastline dotted with castles, caves and waterfalls, Ballycastle mixes seaside resort with a market-town high street, high cliffs, a harbour-marina, and a sandy beach. All this and only an hour from Belfast. House prices are less than half the UK norm. Average house price: £94,808.
Photo: Hamik/Shutterstock

10. FOR NORTHERN SOUL
Tynemouth, Newcastle

A combination of award-winning beaches, surf, soul and ‘superb seafood’ recently earned this northeast town the top spot in the Rough Guide’s list of best coastal towns in the UK. Aside from the location (a 25-minute metro ride from Newcastle, a bike ride from Northumberland and walking distance to Whitley Bay’s aptly-named Longsands Beach), Tynemouth offers a classy Georgian High Street with seaward views towards the haunting cliff-top ruins of Tynemouth Priory. The foodie element is served up at North Shields’ Fish Quay, a 15-minute stroll along the coast. Well-kept streets of affordable Victorian houses attract those who want to stay. Average house price: £282,638.
Photo: Dave Head/Shutterstock

Find more inspiration for moving to the coast here or in the magazine.

 


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