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.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

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

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