Prop­erty com­ment

The fickle tides of the So­lent make for in­ter­est­ing sail­ing, but the story does­nõt end there. Ara­bella Youens ex­am­ines the mar­ket for homes near wa­tery hotspots

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Edited by Ara­bella Youens

A life on the ocean wave: Ara­bella Youens’s sail­ing hotspots

WHEN it comes to how the ap­petite for sail­ing along the coast af­fects the sec­ond­home mar­ket, the trail to fol­low is the ‘day boat and dinghy’ crowd, who, ac­cord­ing to Dawn Car­ritt of Jack­son­Stops & Staff (020–7664 6646), ‘are likely to be much more sea­sonal about their sport, can’t live on board their boat and there­fore need an open moor­ing with a house nearby so that they can come home at the end of the day— more of­ten than not, soak­ing wet.’

With Cowes Week start­ing on Satur­day (Au­gust 6), even the heads of those least in­clined to get in­volved will be turned by the beau­ti­ful clas­sic yachts cut­ting a dash on the So­lent. Christo­pher Bai­ley, head of Knight Frank’s wa­ter­front prop­erty di­vi­sion (01392 848822), notes that sail­ing is cur­rently grow­ing as a hobby thanks to the achieve­ments of Sir Ben Ainslie (who now lives on the Isle of Wight with his wife and baby) and Sir Keith Mills, who’s be­hind the America’s World Cup races that took place last month in Portsmouth.

He adds: ‘It’s also a fan­tas­tic hobby: not only is it very so­cia­ble and ex­hil­a­rat­ing, but it’s very af­ford­able, can in­volve the whole fam­ily, is class­less and age­less and it doesn’t mat­ter if you’re fat or thin. It’s a fan­tas­tic es­cape from work, too.’

Mark Ast­ley of Jack­son-stops & Staff in Chich­ester (01243 786316) has just put Cut Mill House on the mar­ket at £1.65 mil­lion and de­scribes it as ‘by far one of the most cap­ti­vat­ing houses I’ve ever seen’. The house lies just north of Bosham Chan­nel within easy reach of the sail­ing club. ‘But the great thing about this area is that you don’t have to have a wa­ter­front prop­erty,’ adds Christo­pher. ‘You don’t have to pay that pre­mium and can just cy­cle in in the morn­ing.’ He rec­om­mends Hayling Is­land as a ‘re­ally fun sail­ing club’, which at­tracts week­enders who keep their dinghies on a ‘huge trailer park on site’.

Isle of Wight

Both sides of the So­lent vie for top po­si­tion when it comes to sail­ing, but, for Dawn, Cowes pips any­where else to the post. ‘Cowes is very much a yacht­ing haven, with the Royal Yacht Squadron and RORC (Royal Ocean Rac­ing Club) be­ing the pre­mier clubs.’ There are other im­por­tant ones on the is­land, in­clud­ing Sea View Yacht Club, which sits on a prime spot over­look­ing the wa­ter, and Bem­bridge Sail­ing Club. ‘There are only a cou­ple of miles be­tween them, but they con­sider them­selves very sep­a­rate,’ ex­plains Christo­pher.

‘You’re ei­ther Bem­bridge or Seav­iew and the for­mer is at the end of a tidal es­tu­ary, which makes for dif­fer­ent types of sail­ing.’

Ac­cord­ing to Sam Biles of Biles & Co in Bem­bridge (01983 872335), the real hotspots for sailors on the Isle of Wight in­clude Yar­mouth, Cowes and Woot­ton, as well as Seav­iew and Bem­bridge, where visi­tors, crews, sec­ond-home own­ers and re­tirees mix with lo­cals of all ages whose hobby is sail­ing any­thing from Yar­mouth Scows to crew­ing or own­ing glam­orous cruis­ers.

He ex­plains: ‘Buy­ers are tribal, par­tic­u­larly those who have been com­ing down for gen­er­a­tions. It’s likely their chil­dren learned to sail with chil­dren of friends 30 years ago as did their par­ents be­fore them. The sail­ing clubs form the so­cial hub of the smaller sail­ing cen­tres, par­tic­u­larly in Yar­mouth, Seav­iew and Bem­bridge.’

When it comes to buy­ing a house in one of these ar­eas, it’s pos­si­ble to pick up a four-bed­room town house for be­tween £400,000 and £500,000, but a one-off coastal prop­erty with at least six bed­rooms will cost be­tween £1.5 mil­lion and £3 mil­lion, depend­ing on acreage and views. ‘De­spite the ups and downs of the prop­erty mar­ket over the past decade, qual­ity coastal prop­erty has al­ways per­formed well and there’s only a fi­nite sup­ply of re­ally good homes,’ adds Sam.

Lyming­ton, Hamp­shire

The Ge­or­gian mar­ket town of Lyming­ton in the New For­est boasts two sub­stan­tial mari­nas and a lively yacht club—the Royal Lyming­ton—which at­tracts yachts as well as day sailors and dinghies. In terms of prop­erty, perfection for a buyer in this part of the world is ‘an un­in­ter­rupted wa­ter view of your own non-tidal deep-wa­ter moor­ing at the bot­tom of the gar­den,’ says Kevin Allen of John D. Wood’s Lyming­ton of­fice (01590 677233), ‘but, in re­al­ity, such a thing doesn’t ex­ist’.

To the east of the town is the pic­turesque mar­itime ham­let of Buck­lers Hard and the vil­lage of Beaulieu, which has a small ma­rina with some safe an­chor­ages and some of the coun­try’s most ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties ( see Prop­erty Mar­ket, p82), but, in terms of se­cur­ing a moor­ing, com­pe­ti­tion is hot, so ‘be pre­pared for a wait,’ ad­vises Kevin.

Sal­combe, Devon

Although the sail­ing clubs within reach of Lon­don tend to func­tion all year round, the fur­ther west you travel, the more sea­sonal the ar­range­ments, says Christo­pher. ‘Sail­ing clubs come to life in the sum­mer and one of the high­lights of the so­cial cal­en­dar will be the town re­gatta week in Sal­combe, which is tak­ing place right now [un­til Au­gust 6].’

For Har­riet Cundy of Marc­hand Petit (01548 844473), this time of year is ab­so­lutely peak sea­son for house view­ings. ‘A lot of our buy­ers are drawn to Sal­combe be­cause they want to mess around on the wa­ter. It’s not all about big boats here— there’s no ma­rina—it’s more day boats, dinghies and pad­dle­board­ing. But there’s something for every­one: com­pet­i­tive rac­ing at the yacht club ev­ery week­end in the sea­son for those who want it and plenty of beaches, fish­ing and walk­ing for oth­ers—it caters for all tastes and across the gen­er­a­tions.’

She ex­pects busi­ness this year to be as brisk as ever for houses in the right lo­ca­tion with the ap­pro­pri­ate price, for which de­mand is strong. ‘This is a dis­cre­tionary pur­chase after all, so peo­ple will wait a long time to find a prop­erty to suit them,’ she adds.

Cut Mill House lies just north of Bosham in West Sus­sex and has six bed­rooms, a one-bed­room flat, work­shop or boat store and gardens. £1.65m through Jack­son-stops & Staff ( 01243 786316)

Part of a new wa­ter­front de­vel­op­ment in Sal­combe, Devon, Villa 7 comes with four bed­rooms, three bath­rooms and a share of slip­way. £1.95m through Marc­hand Petit ( 01548 844473)

The Shin­gle House in Lyming­ton, Hamp­shire, is a new fourbed­room house that stands in half an acre, with eco-friendly and high-tech el­e­ments, in­clud­ing re­motely con­trolled heat­ing. £1.8m through John D. Wood & Co ( 01590 677233)

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