Buying by the seaside can be good for your health
It’s a dream for many and with good reason. Research shows that living by the coast makes us healthier and happier. Sharon Dale reports.
LEAVING the hubbub of London life for Whitby is a decision Numi Solomons has never regretted.
“If people ask if they should move up here, I tell them ‘yes’.
“We moved from a warehouse in the East End of London at the end of the 1980s, to a glorious Georgian town house that we would never have been able to afford in Brick Lane at the time and definitely not now.
“The pace here is decidely slower and there is a definite ‘Whitby manana’ in the way that things get done. Most of the time this does not matter, and people spend a lot of time doing things for fun or charity.”
Vintage specialist Numi, who owns Stonehouse Emporium on Skinner Street, adds: “During the long hot summer, I often had signs in my shop window saying that I was gardening but if anyone wanted something I would open up for them. This worked brilliantly and I didn’t miss out on the fabulous weather.
“Living near the sea and being able to walk on the beach on a crisp autumn or winter day when there is no one else around is an absolute joy.
“Our daughter spent most of her early years on the beach or playing with her friends in the street and I tend to think she had an idyllic childhood, more 1950s than 1990s.
“She now lives in London but gets back to Whitby any time that she can. London is London, but Whitby is still home.”
Numi is a text book case, according to researchers, who have discovered that living by the coast makes people healthier and happier thank those who live inland.
Matthew White, who led the study at Plymouth University, says those living by the sea take more exercise and mix with their neighbours because being by the coast seems to encourage social activities.
“Exposure to coastal environments may aid stress reduction, promote physical acitivity and encourage social interactions, all associated with positive health outcomes,” says Mr White.
“Evidence is also beginning to emerge that visits to the beach may be particularly good for promoting and enhancing family relationships.”
While many of us would like to be beside the seaside 24/7, jobs and family keep us anchored inland. Buying a holiday home or retiring are our only options.
Tony Nicholson, of Nicholsons estate agency, which has branches in Filey, Scarborough and Bridlington, says: “A lot of people from West and South Yorkshire dream of retiring to live by the sea but in the last five years they have found that more difficult because they have struggled to sell their semis in Barnsley, Birstall and Bradford . The holiday home demand in our areas has also been poor because of the recession.
“This year we have started to see more interest, though we are still 25 per cent off normal market activity. Maybe there might be a rush to retire here now the economy is picking up.”
Prices in Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington areas have fallen by an average of £20,000 since 2007, according to Tony, and you can get a lot for your money along much of Yorkshire’s coast, where prices are keen. The only exception to this is fashionable Whitby.
Bridlington and Hornsea are among the cheapest places to buy. In Bridlington, onebedroom flats are less than £50,000 and you can buy a twobedroom bungalow for £85,000. Scarborough and Filey are slightly more expensive and Whitby is the most expensive, thanks to its popularity with wealthy second home buyers.
Nick Henderson of Astin’s estate agents in Whitby, says: “We have a very strong holiday home market here, though.
“There’s a steady turnover of holiday homes as people’s circumstances change so they tend to keep them five to seven years on average,” says Nick.
“However, people from out of the area who buy a main home here tend to stay here. It’s that kind of place.”
SEASIDE SPECIAL: Park Dene, Scarborough has four bedrooms and sea views, £450,000, Carter Jonas, tel: 01904 558200