10 Best Property Hotspots 2019

Thinking of moving to the seaside? Our latest destination hot list offers a round-up of places to live with attractive house prices, great beaches and good prospects... COMPILED BY LESLEY GILLILAN

 

FOR... A STEP BACK IN TIME
1. Weymouth, Dorset
One of England’s first seaside resorts, Weymouth is a glorious timewarp – all Regency terraces, Punch & Judy shows, plus a quaint fishing harbour with a 17th-century waterfront and a statue of George III (erected as a tribute to the King’s visit in 1789). As host to Olympic sailing events in 2012, the town upped its game but it’s still one of the most affordable locations on West Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. On the site of the former ferry port, the Weymouth Peninsula Redevelopment aims to create a ‘new, year-round destination’; and there is a proposal to turn the disused Victorian brewery at Brewers Quay into homes, but a whiff of the past is likely to remain an integral part of Weymouth’s charm.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £273,000.

photo: Visit Dorset

FOR... EUROPEAN CULTURE
2. Galway City, Republic of Ireland
Ireland beckons for those who want to remain in Europe (passports are an option for those with genuine Irish roots) and where better than the seaside capital of County Galway – soon to be the European Capital of Culture for 2020? Aside from its picturesque waterfront – where brightly painted houses overlook Galway Bay – and brilliant location (on the River Corrib close to the hills of Connemara and the wonderful Wild Atlantic Way), Galway is best known for its west coast seafood, lively music scene and colourful Latin Quarter – where pubs and independent shops congregate in the beating heart of this vibrant little university city.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £229,000.

photo: Tourism Ireland

FOR... 2020 VISION
3. Plymouth, Devon
Devon’s Ocean City is currently rehearsing for a spell in the limelight, leading up to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s pioneering voyage from Plymouth to America in 1620. The celebration will certainly highlight what’s on offer here: the Elizabethan streets of the Barbican, the university, glorious views from Plymouth Hoe, miles of waterfront, and Cornwall on the opposite side of the River Tamar. Coming up is the transformation of the 1960s Civic Centre skyscraper (now Grade II listed) which is to be turned into apartments by cool developer Urban Splash. The year-long Mayflower 2020 celebrations start in November this year.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £209,000.

 

FOR... CITY COMMUTERS
4. Barry, South Wales
House prices in Wales reached an all-time peak in 2018 – with the southeast corner seeing the highest rises. Much of the action focused around the Vale of Glamorgan at the heart of which is Barry: a once-industrial Bristol Channel port best known for its vintage Butlin’s (now Barry Island Pleasure Park). The beach at nearby Whitmore is a cracker (more good beaches at Ogmore, Llantwit Major and Penarth) and there are some fine houses, particularly in Barry’s West End. On the jobs front, Cardiff is only nine miles away (the airport is even closer) and it’s worth noting that the abolition of Seven Bridge tolls last year has saved daily commuters to Bristol up to £1,400 per year.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £196,000.

photo: Vale of Glamorgan

FOR... A SAFE BET
5. Southend-on-Sea, Essex
London’s nearest seaside resort (an hour or so
by train) is often the butt of Essex jokes, but according to Land Registry figures, Southend-on-Sea is the property hotspot of the century – with prices rising faster than anywhere outside the capital. It also offers good employment prospects and excellent schools (its four grammar schools are all rated as outstanding) – and yet prices are still lower than much of the south-east commuter belt. And if you think it’s all amusement arcades and crazy golf, Southend also has some fine houses (particularly in Westcliff and the Clifftown Conservation area).
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £305,219.

FOR... BEST BEACHES
6. Filey, North Yorkshire
‘Beautiful, retro and understated’ was how The Times described Filey when its five miles of sand was awarded British Beach of the Year 2018. Aside from the spectacular beach – stretching from the tail of Filey Brigg to the cliffs of Bempton Nature Reserve – the town’s old-school seafront makes it a genteel alternative to its noisier North Yorkshire neighbours, Scarborough and Bridlington. It also offers a charming old town, a handsome Royal Crescent, great walks (it’s on The Cleveland Way) and close proximity to Flamborough Head (for seabirds, white chalk cliffs and more lovely beaches). Filey’s roomy Victorian terraces sell for under £250,000.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £174,658.

photo: Welcome to Yorkshire

FOR... THE SCOTTISH WILDS
7. Fraserburgh, Scotland
In the far northeast corner of Aberdeenshire, Scotland’s ‘hidden treasure’ is a grit-and-granite sort of place; the largest shellfishing port in Europe with a rugged harbour, The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and a tendency for wild weather (Fraserburgh has seen wind speeds of 142mph). Surprisingly, in 2017 it was credited with experiencing the largest rise in house prices of any seaside town in Britain over the previous 10 years. It was North Sea oil however, not shellfish, that made the difference – Aberdeen is an hour away – but house prices are still low, the local beach is magnificent and there’s lots to do for lovers of the outdoor life.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £135,242.

photo: Visit Scotland

FOR... FAMILY LIFE
8. Broadstairs, Kent
A recent Zoopla report put Broadstairs into the top five places for property price growth in 2018; it’s also the most expensive of Kent’s three Isle of Thanet towns (the others are Margate and Ramsgate) but it’s arguably the prettiest, too, with cliff-top gardens and a distinct village atmosphere. According to Edward Church of Strutt & Parker (currently selling a two-bedroom flat for £745,000) the town is ‘paradise for young children’ thanks to Blue Flag beaches and good schools. ‘What makes the town really special is the lovely little bays and enclosed sandy beaches – like Joss Bay and Botany Bay,’ he says, adding that Broadstairs tends
to attract young families moving from London.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £345,872. 

photo: Strutt and Parker

FOR... BUDGET NORFOLK
9. Hunstanton, North Norfolk
If you fancy Norfolk, but have been priced out
of Wells-next-the-Sea, take a look at Hunstanton.
On The Wash, to the west of the North Norfolk coast, ‘Hunston’ (as it’s known to locals) is a traditional Victorian resort, best known for its natural assets: striped red-chalk cliffs, sandy beaches and magnificent sunsets (the town, as it’s fond of saying, is ‘the only west-facing resort on the east coast’). It’s a little tired here and there, but Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Design has been appointed to help jazz up the seafront as part of a regeneration plan, you are right on the doorstep of Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve, and four- and five-bedroom houses sell for less than a teeny cottage in, say, Blakeney (45 minutes away).
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £338,000.

FOR... ARTY CREATIVES
10. Worthing, West Sussex
Move over Brighton: this south coast town is shaking off its reputation as an old-fashioned retirement haven and introducing ‘Creative Worthing’. Huts on the town’s East Beach have been converted into artists’ studios, there is the Colonnade House Creative Hub (affordable workspace for artists, makers and designers) and the Cellar Arts Club. Add theatres, galleries, the Grade II-listed Dome Cinema (the UK’s oldest working picture house dates from 1911), the Southern Pier Pavilion (for live gigs) and a ‘Summer of Circus’ coming up in June. It’s got a lot to offer young families, too – and some excellent properties from Georgian to Art Deco. And Brighton is only 11 miles away.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE: £208,972.

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