While property values are perennially subject to fluctuation, location, location, location is still the main factor in how much people are paying for a property - whether its their main residence or a holiday home.
Take, for example, waterfront properties. Such desirable properties can be worth up to 75% more than the market value in certain areas of the country such as the South West, but there is still a premium to be paid in all parts of the country, including our own region. According to the survey by Knight Frank, waterfront properties can command an average 60% on the price of a similar residence inland.
In addition to location, amenities in waterfront home are also playing their part in this particular property boom. Luxuries such as private slipways, jetties and private beaches will stimulate prices. Having direct access to water is something many people are prepared to pay a premium for. Private slipways are considered the most valuable feature, pushing up the waterfront premium by an average of 115%. Properties with a private mooring or pontoon see their waterfront premium rise by 104% and 100% respectively, while jetties and private beach access add 89% and 85%.
In terms of location types, homes situated on estuaries command the largest uplift of about 85% compared to a similar property inland. Prime harbour side properties enjoy an uplift of 83% due to their rarity and coastal properties are worth 56% more.
The lifestyle opportunities that a waterfront property can offer are plentiful. Waterfront properties are particularly appealing to those who are seeking a holiday home. Lakeside properties are also sought after by prospective buyers, especially as a second property for the holiday months.
Many buyers are looking for private moorings or slipways to enable quick and easy access to boats on which to spend their weekends and summers. Estuary properties also offer a more sheltered outlook and position, often avoiding the more extreme weather of the open coastline. Many buyers find that the riverside locations are a little more secluded, too, off the beaten path of the tourists that flock to the most popular beaches.
Coastal properties appeal to a completely different type of house hunter. Beach or clifftop homes tend to be in more rugged locations and the views, on the whole, are more far-reaching looking down the coastline and across the open sea. These properties, especially those within walking distance of a sandy beach, are very appealing to people with younger families.
The waterfront property has an enduring appeal that, while subject to some degree of fluctuation caused by ripples from the general condition of the property market, is still strikingly robust. While perennially strong, the waterfront idyll can however be affected by threats of flooding from watercourses or clifftop subsidence, and it is therefore crucial to do the right homework before committing to a purchase.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks.
Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients.