Now’s the time to be be­side the sea­side look­ing for the bar­gains

Sum­mer’s al­most gone, but it’s a great time to buy a sea­side hol­i­day home. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THEY are tact­fully known as “browsers” and there is no short­age of those dreamy-eyed tourists, who gaze wist­fully at brochures in sea­side es­tate agen­cies.

But only a small per­cent­age of them will buy and in some York­shire coastal re­sorts even that num­ber is shrink­ing.

“It’s prob­a­bly a re­flec­tion of the mar­ket in gen­eral and the banks’ un­will­ing­ness to lend but the hol­i­day home mar­ket is not as busy as it used to be.

“Yet it is an ex­cel­lent time to buy. Prices are low and there are some real bar­gains out there,” says es­tate agent Richard Graves, of D. Dunk Lewis and Graves in Bridling­ton.

Jan McAskell from Astin’s in Whitby agrees.

“It’s very quiet, though there are some very good deals about.”

A good ex­am­ple is a small devel­op­ment of two bed­room de­tached hol­i­day bun­ga­lows in Carn­aby, a mile from the beach.

They’ve just been re­duced to £97,500 and al­though they can’t be a main res­i­dence, they have 52 weeks a year hol­i­day us­age.

“Ten have been bought in bulk and let through Hosea­sons very suc­cess­fully and with great feed­back from vis­i­tors.

“You could get a 16 per cent yield if they are let as hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion. That’s a fan­tas­tic re­turn for some­one who wants a hol­i­day home to earn its keep, “ says Richard, who ad­mits that even though the lo­ca­tion is good, many hol­i­day home buy­ers want a sea view.

Over in Scar­bor­ough, which has ben­e­fited from re­gen­er­a­tion in re­cent years, the sec­ond home mar­ket hasn’t been af­fected badly by the prop­erty down­turn, ac­cord­ing to Phil Fletcher of Ash­tons es­tate agents.

“Sur­pris­ingly, in­ter­est has been fairly steady and is about the same level as it was in mid2007,” he says.

“It’s mainly com­ing from West York­shire peo­ple who have money in the bank and who see that there are good bar­gains to be had.

“A lot of them are buy­ing ahead of re­tire­ment. So they’ll buy and use it for them­selves and maybe let it, so it will pay for it­self un­til they de­cide to live here per­ma­nently.”

Prices in Scar­bor­ough start at around £50,000 for a one-bed and £80,000 for a two-bed­room apart­ment a cou­ple of streets back from the seafront, but a good two-bed flat with a sea view will cost from £120,000.

Prices in Bridling­ton are sim­i­lar and this lo­ca­tion has the ben­e­fit of be­ing flat­ter.

Char­ac­ter­ful and hilly Whitby is the most ex­pen­sive, and most fash­ion­able, York­shire coast lo­ca­tion. Prices start at about £80,000 for a one-bed flat and £90,000 for a two-bed­room with a pre­mium added for sea views, while in up­mar­ket Sand­send there is a two-bed­room flat for £179,950.

For low, low prices, With­ernsea, closer to Hull, is Bri­tain’s cheap­est sea­side town and you can get a two-bed­room house for around £65,000.

For those think­ing of buy­ing a hol­i­day home to let and for per­sonal use, there is good news from Knight Frank.

Their lat­est re­port re­veals that hol­i­day prop­erty is a sound in­vest­ment with year round po­ten­tial.

Over the past three years UK tourism has ex­panded be­yond spring and sum­mer months with the high­est growth in book­ings seen in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber and Christ­mas and New Year.

There has also been a 67 per cent rise in the nights spent in self-cater­ing apart­ments since 2007 and good qual­ity hol­i­day lets typ­i­cally of­fer be­tween five per cent and seven per cent gross rental yields, of­ten achiev­ing higher yields than prop­er­ties let on short­hold ten­an­cies.

Liam Bai­ley, head of res­i­den­tial re­search, Knight Frank, says this is help­ing to fuel a grow­ing in­ter­est in sec­ond homes, es­pe­cially in the South West.

"The po­ten­tial in­vest­ment re­turns from hol­i­day lets is a huge draw. In­creased de­mand for self-cater­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion through­out the year has en­abled buy­ers to look upon a sec­ond home as an in­vest­ment rather than a lux­ury.”

De­mand is also com­ing from those who would’ve bought in France and Spain had poor ex­change rates not added 25 per cent to the cost of prop­erty.

Har­ro­gate-based David Co­p­ley, found­ing part­ner of Bead­nall Co­p­ley es­tate agents, thought about buy­ing in Spain but in­stead opted for Whitby.

He bought his five-bed­room Ge­or­gian town­house last year in the hope of get­ting a good re­turn on in­vest­ment.

He paid £275,000 and spent £50,000 on a makeover that re­sulted in Five Star Sta­tus from Visit Bri­tain.

He says: “I wanted to have a home-from-home prop­erty, not sac­ri­fice any com­forts, plus I felt it was im­por­tant to of­fer the dis­cern­ing holidaymaker a truly lux­u­ri­ous place to en­joy.

“It is stun­ning and has been well worth the in­vest­ment – pro­vid­ing a far greater re­turn than I could hope to make with other in­vest­ments. It gives me dou­ble the re­turn that I can make with stan­dard buy-to-let.

“We will by the end of the first year have achieved 40 weeks of book­ings and I use the rest of the time. Of all the prop­er­ties I own, this one gives me the best re­turn but, im­por­tantly, the great­est joy

A lot of them are buy­ing ahead of re­tire­ment. They’ll maybe let it so it will pay for it­self.

is that I have spent many fab­u­lous times there with fam­ily and friends.”

He adds: “My long-term plan is to main­tain the house and when I re­tire, I hope to spend win­ter months there. Ten years ago, Whitby used to ‘close’ from Novem­ber to March how­ever now it is open all year round; the town has re­ally come on in re­cent years and now has many el­e­gant cafés and bars, award-win­ning restau­rants and fab­u­lous shops.”

David man­ages his own prop­erty with the help of a house­keeper. This al­lows him close con­trol and lower over­heads. An agent will charge be­tween 20 and 40 per cent for man­ag­ing a hol­i­day let.

Alan Davidson, from Brad­ford, also man­ages his own and has max­imised the let­ting po­ten­tial of his Whitby hol­i­day cot­tage by har­ness­ing the power of the in­ter­net.

An elec­tron­ics whizz, who has a CCTV and alarms busi­ness in Brad­ford, he bought his prop­erty two and a half years ago.

Frus­trated with the lack of in­ter­est gen­er­ated by let­ting agents, Alan built his own web­site: www.en­deav­our­cot­tage.co.uk

It is now top of the Google rank­ings and has over 150 hits a day – mostly from the London area. Need­less to say, his house, which sleeps six, is never empty.

Alan says: “I’d built web­sites be­fore as a hobby, so I built one for the cot­tage.

“ It’s not the best de­signed but that doesn’t mat­ter. It’s be­ing at the top of the search en­gine rank­ings that makes the dif­fer­ence.

“I bought some books on search en­gine op­ti­mi­sa­tion and re­ally worked on that.

“I also have a com­mu­nity web­site called The Whitby Guide and I am on Twit­ter and Face­book and I have a blog and write eZine ar­ti­cles on hol­i­day let­ting. It all helps drive traf­fic to my cot­tage site, plus I en­joy it.”

He adds: “I don’t want peo­ple to get the wrong im­pres­sion be­cause I am prob­a­bly an ex­cep­tion. The best a lot of peo­ple achieve is 20 weeks a year.

“I can get 52 and it’s been so suc­cess­ful that I am think­ing of buy­ing a sec­ond prop­erty.”

David Co­p­ley’s Ge­or­gian town­house is for let through www.al­bany­house­whitby.co.uk or tel: 07719 569088

Alan Davidson’s En­deav­our Cot­tage is for let through www.en­deav­our­cot­tage.co.uk

See Richard White­lock’s col­umn be­low for tax ad­vice.

LOOK­ING OUT TO SEA: The view from the sun ter­race at Belvedere Pa­rade, Bridling­ton, £375,000. Con­tact: D Dunk, Lewis and Graves, tel: 01262 672576. www.ddlges­tates.co.uk. This house on the south sea front has views that take in Bridling­ton Bay from the first floor sun ter­race.

Cliff Street, Whitby, £109,950. Ed­ward G Astin, tel: 01947 821122, www.astin.co.uk. Right, Horse­shoes Drive, Sewerby, near Bridling­ton, £325,000. Con­tact: D Dunk, Lewis and Graves, tel: 01262 672576, www.ddlges­tates.co.uk

RE­LAX: Two bed­roomed bun­ga­lows at Carn­aby Her­itage Park, Carn­aby near Bridling­ton. £97,500. D Dunk, Lewis and Graves, tel: 01262 672576. www.ddlges­tates.co.uk. Right, Cas­tle Ter­race, Scar­bor­ough, £189,950, Ash­tons, tel: 01723 330077, www.ash­tons­es­tateagentsco.uk

SEA­SIDE SPE­CIAL: Ex­te­rior view of the house at Belvedere Pa­rade. Bridling­ton. Right: Sand­send Road, Whitby, £230,000. Con­tact: Ed­ward G Astin, tel: 01947 821122, www.astin.co.uk

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