Living by water is now top aspiration for younger homebuyers

Living by water is now top aspiration for younger homebuyers

Properties in waterside locations have seen a popularity boost across the UK, driven by younger generations looking to reap the health and happiness benefits of a home by the water.

As many as a quarter (26%) of UK adults aged 35 and under are actively looking for a home near the water within the next five years, according to a recent survey by Strutt & Parker, with this figure increasing to 36% for 35-39-year-olds.

The research negates the preconception that living by water – whether that be by the sea, a river, a canal or in a docklands area – is more of a preference for older people, as only 12% of those aged over 45 said they were actively looking to move to a waterfront location in the next five years.

Cleaner air and healthier lifestyles

While living by the sea might be restrictive in terms of job options for those still of working age and in employment, the increase in flexible working across the UK in recent years has enabled more people to live in their dream location, with 49% of employed adults who already live in waterside properties working from home.

Almost a fifth (18%) of respondents of all ages said they would be seeking a home by the water in the next five years, which is an increase from 12% in 2017 and shows how the trend is growing. One reason for this could be for health reasons, as Vanessa Hale, director of research at Strutt & Parker, pointed out.

“As concern over air pollution grows, better air quality has overtaken ‘views’ to become the second top driving factor. It was interesting to note that 41% of adults aged over 45 wanted to live near to water for their mental wellbeing, against 27% of under-45s.”

A ‘blue mind’

Hale added: “The links between living by the water and benefits to mental health have long been documented. Marine biologist J. Nichols recently launched some ground-breaking research on proximity to water and well-being, coining the phenomena of stress-relief as having a ‘blue mind’.

“Our survey reflected the desire many people have to own a property with fantastic water views – a huge 79% of adults who live near water, or would like to in the future, would be looking to invest in property with outstanding views over water. 55% would pay 10-25% more for this benefit.”

You don’t have to invest in an ocean-front property to reap the benefits of proximity to water. Many of the UK’s major cities incorporate vast amounts of waterside living, from Liverpool‘s River Mersey to the waterfront Salford Quays area of Manchester, which have the added benefit of having strong jobs markets right on the doorstep.

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