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.
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
HANDY FOR THE BEACH: