Post-pandemic lifestyle changes are driving the market for coastal homes in all four corners of the UK, writes coast property specialist Lesley Gillilan, as she searches out ideal seaside spots if you’re thinking of relocating

On the Welsh coast, houses have also leapt up in value over the last year. Emma Lovatt of West Wales Properties says she has seen price increases of around 20-25% in all three of the counties in her area (namely Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion) – and not only do the best houses attract multiple offers, they often sell for over the asking price. Again, Emma puts this down to post-pandemic lifestyle changes. ‘People are rethinking where they want to live,’ she says. ‘Hence, the big demand is for family houses, rather than cottages or holiday lets.’ South and West Wales tend to see the hottest markets, but buyers are also searching for homes in Snowdonia, the Llyn Peninsula and the Isle of Anglesey (where prices doubled in 2020).

Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

Saundersfoot. Photo credit Behind the Lens Media

Saundersfoot. Photo credit Behind the Lens Media

Just over three miles from Tenby, Saundersfoot has emerged as one of Wales’ most sought-after seaside destinations; Rightmove has reported a big jump in searches for homes in this popular village, which has seen a 20% hike in property values. Demand is driven by the fabulous location: within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the conservation village overlooks its own sandy Blue Flag beach and harbour marina. There is a railway station a mile from the village connected to mainline services, a good primary school and some excellent restaurants, such as Michelin-listed Coast. Prices are keen, higher than Tenby, but neck and neck with the national average and cheaper than Cornwall. Premium seafront homes tend to come with millionaire price tags, however, a three-bedroom house is currently selling for £350,000.
Average house price: £310,025.
For sale in Saundersfoot: One row in from the beachfront, Blue Bridge is a five-bedroom house with gardens and uninterrupted sea views, priced at £1.2m with Country Living (01437 616101, countrylivinggroup.co.uk).

Mumbles and Gower, Swansea Bay

Only 20 minutes from Swansea, Mumbles is a great combination of a seaside bolthole with a city on the doorstep – but that’s not the only reason why buyers have been snapping up homes there. The former fishing village turned holiday hotspot is set between the Bristol Channel and the wooded Mumbles Hill Nature Reserve on a thumb-like headland that juts off the eastern shore of the Gower Peninsula, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The characterful town has a Victorian pier, a lively community of restaurants and shops, great local beaches (check out Whiteford Sands, Oxwich Bay or family-friendly Langland Bay), a handy secondary school (three miles away) and a rail service that nips between Mumbles and Swansea (where you can change for Cardiff, Bristol or London). Prices range from £310,000 (two-bed cottage) to £700,000 (detached with five bedrooms).
Average house price: £340,419.
For sale: A spacious, three-bedroom sea-view apartment between Mumbles and Langland (about half a mile from each) for sale at £275,000 through The Greenroom (01792 986099, thegreenroomhomes.com).

Barmouth, Gwynedd

Barmouth Photo credit Walter Lloyds Jones

Barmouth Photo credit Walter Lloyds Jones

Although its origins are industrial (shipping and slate), Barmouth is essentially a holiday resort, and while some areas of the seafront could do with a lick of paint, this up-and-coming town enjoys one of the best locations in North Wales – overlooking the spectacular Mawddach Estuary (spanned by its famous Grade II-listed wooden railway bridge) from the lip of the Snowdonia National Park. The town might not be the best place for schools (the nearest secondary is at Harlech, 10 miles to the north) but its long golden beach and sand dunes are heaven for kids. And the handy (and scenic) Cambrian Line railway runs between Shrewsbury and Pwllheli via Machynlleth and Harlech. Look for properties at the east end of town, near the High Street, the train station and Barmouth Bridge – or bag yourself a home right on the estuary.
Average house price: £268,798.
For sale: On the top two floors of landmark Porkington Terrace, a roomy, five-bedroom maisonette offers fabulous views of the Mawddach Estuary £210,000 through Walter Lloyd Jones (01341 280527, walterlloydjones.co.uk).

If you’re ready to make a move to the coast, browse our selection of the latest seaside homes for sale, check out our guides to moving to the Scottish coast or pick up the latest copy of coast magazine for more coastal living inspiration