Published: 06:00, 01 May 2021
Demand from Londoners wanting to snap up seaside properties as a result of the pandemic is expected to see house prices surge in coastal areas, a new report has revealed.
Towns including Margate and Ramsgate - listed as two of the most desirable areas in the latest Property Market Index Rating - could even see some beachfront houses command £400,000 more than those located inland.
The new findings suggest a combination of more people working from home due to Covid and the subsequent need for more space at an affordable cost, as well as a fresh desire to leave the urban confines of a city after months of lockdown, is driving up demand.
The stamp duty holiday extension and the reintroduction of 95% mortgages is also pushing more people to take the plunge and leave the city.
Experts say this means more developers setting their sights on prime coastal locations and this predicted boom is expected to last throughout the next five to 10 years.
Ben Smith, director at Miles & Barr estate agents, which has branches in coastal towns across Kent, says Ramsgate, Margate and Deal in particular are seeing huge demand and that investment continues to come into these locations.
"We have seen an influx of buyers from London and other urban areas as they seek the perks of coastal living," he said.
"One hundred thousand-plus people were commuting to international stations in Stratford and St Pancras prior to the lockdown and have realised along with many city dwellers that they can live and work right next to the sea with sea views and award-winning beaches on their doorstep.
"Clean air, café culture, less travel, more space and value for money as well as a shortage of stock are making these coastal towns the go-to location for property buyers."
Rightmove's director of property data Tim Bannister says more space has always been the most common reason for people moving home.
"The evolution for many, from balancing their laptop on the end of a bed last March to making an office a permanent addition to a home, has led to a need for even bigger homes than before," he added.
Amanda Collison, senior researcher at Property Market-Index.com, which compiled the report, says it means they are seeing demand far outweigh supply.
Damien Cooke of Cooke&Co in Thanet says the area is very desirable
"This is going to continue to drive house prices upwards for properties close to the sea," she added.
"People are looking by the coast for the quality of life, fresher air, more space and a family-friendly appeal."
In the report by Property Market Index.com, which tracks key trends in the housing market, figures show that in Margate, a house with sea views or within easy walking distance of the beach could get up to about £685,000. This is £436,000 more than an average property in the town, which is £248,408.
The figures, taken from Zoopla and Rightmove by the property index, also showed that in Ramsgate a beachside property could go for as much as £626,000, some £375,000 more than an average house in the town, typically about £251,253.
Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs were named in the Property Market Index Report 2020/21 as the top three areas out of 20 coastal towns most desired by people moving out of London.
Ramsgate scored highest in the study, claiming top spot, followed closely by Broadstairs in second and Margate, third.
They came ahead of typically sought-after places such as Brighton, Paignton in Devon, and Newquay and St Ives in Cornwall.
The report shows which seaside locations rate the highest for people wanting to buy a second home or move out of London, where the average house price is £655,000.
It considered cleanliness and beaches, house price growth, value for money, schools, culture and ease of getting into the capital.
It also took into account the dramatic impact of the pandemic and people's desire for more open space and less crowding.