Prices of waterfront homes rose 1.4% in the year through June, according to the annual report from Knight Frank
British homebuyers pay 46% more on average to live near a body of water—a premium many are willing to part with amid the ongoing home rush, according to data released Thursday.
U.K. waterfront homes have outpaced other vacation properties, with prices rising 1.4% in the year through June compared to country homes, which saw a meagre 0.2% price appreciation, on average, according to the annual report from real estate firm Knight Frank. Homes on a harbour have done particularly well, even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, appreciating nearly 10% during the same timeframe.
The price data covers 12 months through June, just as the British housing market was reopening from two months of lockdown. That means it excludes the subsequent boom in home buying, which has driven prices in some parts of the U.K. to new heights as they hunt for more space to ride out the health crisis.
That’s led to huge interest in country and waterfront living, said Christopher Bailey, head of waterfront at Knight Frank. Home sales outside of London, for example, were 60% higher than the five-year average in the last week of August.
Among the various water properties, estuaries—where fresh and saltwater meet—command the greatest price premiums. The average buyer pays 69% more than someone purchasing something comparable about a mile inland.
Coastal and harbour properties follow, with premiums of 57% and 58% respectively. Riverside properties are closer to their inland counterparts, with premiums of about 19%, according to Knight Frank.
Travel restrictions have also redirected affluent U.K. buyers who might have been seeking second or third homes on the Mediterranean or Caribbean to look domestically, according to Jonathan Bramwell, head of independent buying consultancy The Buying Solution at Knight Frank.
They are now looking at coastal homes in Devon or Cornwall, as well as a country house within one-and-a-half or two hours of London, which acts as a stepping stone between the three properties, Mr. Bramwell said in the report.
The brokerage has also seen increasing interest in coastal homes manifest in its search traffic, a loose measure demand. Web searches for coastal and seaside properties nearly tripled between March 28 and the end of August.
The U.K. lockdown provided people with plenty of time to think about their current lifestyles and reassess where they want to live, said Chris Druce, a senior researcher for the report. It is no surprise that waterfront living, in keeping with people’s desire for more space and greenery, remains in such high demand.
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