Property consultant ROGER PUNCH assesses the state of the housing market and coastal properties in his region.

Having been a valuer of coastal properties in the south west since the 1970s, demand for these properties has escalated disproportionately to the overall market. An undercurrent of planning and climate change issues has been no deterrent.

Equally, a rollercoaster of market boom and bust has tracked the national and world economy. Combine this with the fact that residential properties are purchased more on emotion than logic, and hence are irrational, then this occupation becomes even more entertaining!

The magnetism of the sea and its revitalising air simulates wellbeing. For many the aspiration of living on the coast becomes a priority when the slightest opportunity arises. Improvements in communication through technology has meant that many people can live where they want to, often discovering new and inspiring locations.

For those of us that are already here we thrive and cherish in our locality, the latter involving a – hopefully balanced – level of protectionism. When assessing potentially achievable price levels all current influences must be considered.

Coastal properties can often buck the trend. The data and comments contained in the monthly Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Residential Market Survey is always a reality check, and this year, with so much media attention being given to statistics, it is good to read the positive long-term opinions when it comes to the coastline locations of the south west.

As estate agents we have a responsibility to do the best for our clients, and that includes enabling every property to reach its widest audience. Specialising enables potential buyers to quiz us regarding local attributes and facilities.

Sellers take advantage of a database of potential buyers often accumulated over many years, through many avenues of contact, boosted by initiatives such as attending local and regional shows, which for us includes the annual Southampton International Boat Show. As a meeting place for boating enthusiasts it is an essential diary entry to attract the marine audience to our waterside and coastal properties.

Roger Punch FRICS is a consultant to Marchand Petit, which has six offices in south Devon.