The won­der of the wa­ter­side

Homes over­look­ing the sea, river or canal com­mand a pricey pre­mium. Lau­ren David­son finds the most sought-af­ter views in the UK

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

‘Bri­tish de­mand for liv­ing near the water is in­sa­tiable’

It may be known as the green and pleas­ant land, but Eng­land has just as much rea­son to boast about its bits of blue.

The ar­eas near the shores of this is­land are es­ti­mated to play home to around 30 mil­lion peo­ple, or nearly half of the UK pop­u­la­tion. In fact, no spot in the UK is more than 70 miles from the coast – and un­doubt­edly much closer to the thou­sands of miles of rivers, lakes and canals that dot and weave their way through the coun­try.

Con­sid­er­ing this abun­dance of land on the wa­ter­front, you might think that homes with a view of the blue are a dime a dozen. But some ar­eas are more de­sir­able than oth­ers.

Ocean views com­mand the high­est price pre­mium of wa­ter­side lo­ca­tions, ac­cord­ing to re­search for the Tele­graph by the es­tate agency Jack­son-Stops & Staff. The av­er­age sale price of a prop­erty that looks out on to the sea is £475,486, 30 per cent more than homes in coastal lo­ca­tions with­out a view. River vis­tas, with an av­er­age house price of £315,453, add 24 per cent to the value of a prop­erty, while canal­side homes go for £276,172 on av­er­age, a markup of 18 per cent.

“The as­pi­ra­tion of own­ing a home with a view across water and liv­ing near fea­tures such as the ocean, rivers and canals has long been em­bed­ded in the Bri­tish psy­che,” says Nick Leem­ing, chair­man of Jack­son-Stops & Staff. “As an is­land we are sur­rounded by water and our de­mand for liv­ing near it is in­sa­tiable. As such, all views across water in all the lo­ca­tions we an­a­lysed gen­er­ated a strong house price pre­mium for the homes they ben­e­fit, with­out ex­cep­tion.”

The most de­sir­able view of the ocean is in Rock and Pad­stow, the fish­ing vil­lages that flank the Camel es­tu­ary on the north-west coast of Corn­wall. Homes with a win­dow on to the waves fetch a typ­i­cal price of £487,500, which is 68 per cent more than the av­er­age price for the area.

This comes as no sur­prise to An­thony Ham­bly, a re­tired doc­tor, who is sell­ing a three-bed­room cot­tage in nearby Port Isaac that has been in his fam­ily for 500 years. His an­ces­tors, the Tre­van fam­ily, were coast­guards in the 18th cen­tury, and sev­eral lo­cal points of in­ter­est – such as Tre­van Point, part of the Na­tional Trust coast­line – are named af­ter them.

“It’s right in the mid­dle of an ex­cep­tional coast­line – from Pad­stow to Boscas­tle is prob­a­bly the best bit of coast­line in the coun­try,” says Ham­bly, 68. “It has the most fan­tas­tic view. It looks down on to the har­bour and out over the break­wa­ter, straight on to the At­lantic. It’s a re­ally out­stand­ing lo­ca­tion, quite unique re­ally.”

The White House, which is Grade II listed and brings in around £30,000 a year as a hol­i­day let, is £795,000 (01392 247657; knight­frank.co.uk).

The Dorset sea­side fol­lows closely be­hind this strip of Cor­nish coast­line when it comes to the most de­sir­able ocean views, judg­ing by price pre­mi­ums. Prop­er­ties over­look­ing the water in Poole cost 67 per cent more than the av­er­age house price for the area, and those in nearby Brid­port com­mand a pre­mium of 54 per cent.

“Homes with views of the ocean gen­er­ated by far the great­est uplift – but it’s not just about the views,” Leem­ing says. “These homes gen­er­ate sub­stan­tial pre­mi­ums be­cause of the life­style ben­e­fits that ac­com­pany them. Walk­ing, sail­ing, surf­ing and swim­ming are favourite Bri­tish pas­times and, with a fo­cus on healthy liv­ing, never be­fore has it been more in fash­ion to live in an area which af­fords a life­style of this type.”

All these ameni­ties are still avail­able to lo­cals who don’t have a view of the water, he notes. “Savvy buy­ers might also con­sider in­vest­ing in a prop­erty a road or two back, which of­fers ac­cess with­out the hefty pric­etag.”

While homes with sea views have the high­est av­er­age price hikes over­all. the sin­gle most de­sir­able wa­ter­side lo­ca­tion in the UK is on the river­banks around the Burn­ham Mar­ket area.

A prop­erty with a river view in this nook of North Nor­folk – known by many as Chelsea-on-Sea – will cost, on av­er­age, 87 per cent more than nearby homes with­out this ad­van­tage. Of course, as well as hav­ing views over the River Burn, it is also only a cou­ple of miles from the coast.

“Pur­chasers in North Nor­folk are buy­ing into a life­style,” says Tim Hay­ward, di­rec­tor at Jack­son-Stops & Staff ’s branch in Burn­ham Mar­ket. “It has be­come a top-class des­ti­na­tion not only for hol­i­day-home own­ers but in­creas­ingly for those look­ing to es­cape the rat race and es­cape to the coun­try. It’s not un­usual to spot a celebrity or two, and as a re­sult of its

in­creased pop­u­lar­ity we’re now find­ing the area is thriv­ing with in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques, art gal­leries and award-win­ning restau­rants.”

For river­side liv­ing in the area, it doesn’t come much bet­ter than The Wa­ter­mill, a Grade II listed home with a fully func­tion­ing mill and orig­i­nal mech­a­nisms still in­tact, which is one of only 500 res­i­den­tial wa­ter­mills in the coun­try. The ren­o­vated fourbed­room house, which strad­dles the River Burn, comes with fish­ing rights to the trout-filled mill pond. Its boathouse has been con­verted into a din­ing room, with wa­ter­side views on all sides, which leads out to the decked river­side en­ter­tain­ing area. It is on the mar­ket for £1.6 mil­lion (01328 801333; jack­son-stops.co.uk).

Mov­ing down around the east coast of the UK, Ip­swich of­fers the sec­ond most sought-af­ter water view in the coun­try, with a 74 per cent pre­mium for homes with sight of the river.

Dun­can Foster and his wife, Cara, bought a plot of land on the out­skirts of nearby Wood­bridge in 2006 and spent six years build­ing a fourbed­room house on the River Deben. They are sell­ing it for £1.2 mil­lion as they have moved to be nearer their daugh­ter’s school (01473 218218; jack­son-stops.co.uk).

“There are only three prop­er­ties in the whole of Wood­bridge that front the water – and one of them is ours,” says Foster, 48. “I knew that be­ing on the river was al­ways go­ing to add value to the prop­erty, but it was more about hav­ing that for my­self. It’s just a shame we’ve had to leave it.”

Waters Edge of­fers panoramic views from its roof, ac­cessed through the mas­ter bed­room mez­za­nine, and the gar­den leads di­rectly to a pri­vate jetty with moor­ing rights.

“The deck at the bot­tom of the gar­den is right on the river – you can dan­gle your feet in the water at high tide,” Foster says. “Ev­ery year we do fire­works on New Year’s Eve, and put them right on the water so every­body is look­ing over the river. It is just idyl­lic in terms of views.”

But you don’t have to leave the city to live right on the water. When it comes to canal homes, it’s not Lon­don’s Lit­tle Venice or the lux­ury loops of the Thames that pile the most pounds onto prop­erty prices.

The mas­sive re­gen­er­a­tion project in Birm­ing­ham is pay­ing off, with canal views in the UK’s sec­ond city adding 35 per cent to the cost of a home. While Lon­don’s canal­side prop­er­ties are three times more ex­pen­sive than Birm­ing­ham’s, at £638,043, this is just 18 per cent higher than the al­ready­dear av­er­age prop­erty price for the area.

“Lit­tle Venice is per­haps one of the UK’s most beau­ti­ful canal lo­ca­tions, but the Birm­ing­ham canal nav­i­ga­tions are also a real sight to be­hold, with the en­tire sys­tem adding up to 100 miles of canals,” Leem­ing says. “The sur­round­ings teem with wildlife. Of­ten pop­u­lated by nar­row­boats, the sense of com­mu­nity on a canal is usu­ally very high.”

High tide: Dun­can and Cara Foster are sell­ing Waters Edge, on the River Deben, for £1.2 mil­lion, above and be­low (01473 218218; jack­son­stops.co.uk); The White House in Port Isaac is £795,000, main (01392 248517; knight­frank.co.uk)

En­ergy boost: the Wa­ter­mill, near Burn­ham Mar­ket, is £1.6 mil­lion, cover and above (01328 801333; jack­son­stops.co.uk)

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