With the last Bank Holiday of the year upon us, British seaside resorts are gearing themselves up for the annual onslaught of weekend visitors and tourists.
Last year UK residents took 90.5 million holidays and leisure breaks in the UK, the majority of which were taken in August . With the threat of strikes from airline staff and a prolonged fear of international terrorism, the figures for domestic breaks this year look set to be just as high. The South East and South West are the most popular destinations for visitors, with attractive resorts such as Bournemouth, Brighton, Torquay, Weston-super-Mare and Eastbourne providing all the criteria for a traditional British Bank Holiday weekend. Brighton alone sees around 8 million tourists heading to its pier and beaches each year .
Encouraged by the sunshine, leisure facilities and relaxed mood in these resorts, weekends and breaks away can persuade people to buy a home in a seaside town. Data from SmartNewHomes.com reveals that migration to the South West increases during the summer months, peaking at +3.87% last August. The Westcountry, surrounded by coast lines and beaches, is the most popular destination for UK tourists and figures for migration this year are also climbing, reaching +3.11% last month (July 2004) compared to a low of +1.98% in January 2004.
Additionally, recent research discovered that the price people are willing to pay for properties in Brighton increased by 17.1% over the summer months compared to a national average increase of just 2.6%, as homebuyers are motivated by the holiday atmosphere in the town.
Developers target seaside
As quality of life becomes an ever-increasing priority and technological advances allow more flexible working plans, housebuilders have been quick to target sites in seaside resorts. George Wimpey are currently marketing the Moorhaven development of two, three and four bedroom family homes in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset starting at £154,995. Weston was first established as a seaside resort in the 1800s and still boasts donkey rides along the sands.
Heading south, Bovis Homes are offering a life in the heart of the English Riveria at Badgers Rise in Torquay, with four and five bedroom homes starting at £289,950. Further along the coast, GladeDale Homes have redeveloped a Grade-II listed chateau-style building just off Marine Parade in Brighton. The French Apartments have been designed to provide a mix of chic and cosmopolitan apartments and penthouses with sea views and communal gardens and start at £399,950. Only one hour from London, Brighton is one of the most popular destinations for city folk looking to escape the capital.
David Bexon, Chief Executive of SmartNewHomes.com, said: “The Bank Holiday weekend looks to be a busy time for the country’s seaside towns and housebuilders are expecting it will be a busy time for them as well. Quality of life is an increasingly important consideration for people when choosing where to live and many homebuyers are realising that they can enjoy the benefits of living in a holiday town all year round.”