St Ives riding the coastal property wave as UK’s most wanted seaside town

Rightmove’s recent research has confirmed that Cornwall has claim to three of the country’s most desirable seaside places – St Ives taking the top spot with Penzance and Newquay making the most popular ten seaside towns.

Over the past five years, St Ives has seen property asking prices increase by 29%. The average house price is £84,443 greater than anywhere across the South West region, standing at £396,619.

The idyllic sandy beaches of St Ives attract a surfer crowd and it is a popular second home destination. Experts believe that part of the demand for property here could be the shift in more people choosing to holiday in the UK.

Property in seaside destinations

Overall Cornwall has recorded a rise of 1.8% in the average asking price between July 2018 and this July.

The South of England outranked the north with only Whitby making the most popular seaside towns for new home buyers. Cromer in Norfolk was rated second most in demand. The Isle of Wight took second place with Cowes, famous for the world’s oldest sailing regatta and the traditional beach resort of Sandown also made the top ten.

Richard Marris at Miller Countrywide Estate Agents in St. Ives said: “What’s great about this town is that people move here because they want to, not because they need to. We’ve got a thriving shopping area and fantastic beaches which are very popular with surfers.

“The harbour is beautiful, and we’ve also got a range of galleries. We have the Tate St Ives, so we have that sense of culture as well. You can also get here direct from Paddington station in London.”

Mr Marris added: “The train stops directly in the heart of the town, so you needn’t ever use a car; I often see people walking about town with their wheelie suitcases, it’s lovely. There are also new planning laws here around second homes, so there is a certain element of exclusivity which means homes are sold quickly. And as I’ve mentioned, it’s a great place for artists.

“It’s one of the few towns that faces north so we get the most extraordinary lighting for photos and paintings, it’s really special.”

Rising prices

The biggest five-year price hike since 2014 was in Newhaven, East Sussex with average asking prices rising by 30%.

Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “The lure of a sea view and the proximity to the vibrancy of open water is a massive draw for many home movers. This research not only reaffirms that, but reveals buyers’ favourites, too.

“There is a strong southern bias as sea is perhaps, in some people’s minds, enjoyed more with better weather. Other amenities and transport links are important elements too, plus a community spirit.”

“Retirees will be looking for all of these features, so it’s no surprise this list includes well-known locations that cater for their needs. Affordability is a big issue too, so the top ten includes a wide variety of price brackets to suit different budgets. While some may consider a move abroad to fulfil their retirement dream, this research shows the familiarity of our coastline has enduring appeal.”

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