City, coast and country, Yorkshire has the best of everything
IT probably won’t come as a surprise that the latest research from Knight Frank states that properties by water in the southwest of England command the largest waterfront premiums in the UK with uplifts as much as 66 per cent.
East Anglia and the South-East at 43 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, were the areas that commanded the next largest rises.
Our research also illustrates that properties situated on estuaries attract the highest premiums in terms of a waterfront location and that even those waterfront properties that do not overlook an estuary or a harbour are still worth significantly more than their inland equivalents.
So why, one might ask, do we not all spend our weekends, bank holidays or summer holidays in trendy South-West, south coast or Norfolk locations? Some might say it takes far too long to get there when there are many sunny destinations in southern Europe that could be reached in the same travelling time.
At risk of sounding like an ambassador for Welcome to Yorkshire, I think there is a more fundamental reason. We don’t have to move out of our own county to find everything we need for a relaxing getaway. Yorkshire has such a wide diversity of attractions that you could be working in a city in the morning, walking in the hills in the afternoon and enjoying an evening on the east coast, and you could do all that in one 24hour period. That is probably why the A64 and other coast-bound routes are increasingly busy throughout the year and why the east coast is enjoying a revival with new developments, new hotels and an inward investment that can only be of benefit to the region.
In fact, I count myself as one of those regular travellers who makes a point throughout the year, and not just during the summer, of enjoying a weekend break on the east coast after the ups and downs of a week in the estate agency business in and around Harrogate. The chance to have a walk or run on the beach on a Sunday morning is too good to miss and it is invigorating, come rain or shine. It is a great way to recharge the batteries.
However, that is not to say that we should all be abandoning our towns and cities at the weekend. It is all a question of balance and that’s something we can easily find in Yorkshire.
News of the county’s charms have spread and our statistics back this up. Last year, 38 per cent of Knight Frank buyers were from outside Yorkshire. That figure rose from 36 per cent the year before. In 2010 it was 33 per cent.
Perhaps it is the unique combination of towns, hills and coast that is attracting buyers. We clearly have it all.
So unlike the South-West, the good news for home owners in Yorkshire is that it isn’t only waterfront views that are driving the market.
As with any marketplace, there are buyers who are still prepared to pay a premium for what their hearts desire, be it hills with views, river or seaside views or the convenience of an urban setting with schools around the corner.
However, we remain in a marketplace that is increasingly price sensitive. Due to the ease of accessing property data on the internet, buyers are now very well informed before they put forward their bids. They will have checked what other properties in the area have sold for recently.
So the key to success in selling, be it in town, country or the coast, is to be accurate with realistic pricing. This can even generate competitive bidding and you may get more than you initially asked for.
Knight Frank’s annual Prime Waterfront Index reveals that estuary hotspots include Rock, Salcombe, Dartmouth, St Mawes and Newton Ferrers along with prestigious areas such as Sandbanks and the Beaulieu River Estuary.
Tim Waring is a partner of Knight Frank and leads its estate agent team in Yorkshire. www. knightfrank.com/harrogate