We all like to live beside the seaside...

The research, based on Land Registry figures, reveals that house prices in resorts such as Bridlington and Scarborough have seen growth almost double that of some southern towns over the last five years, with Brighton experiencing the slowest price growth. On average, northern resorts have seen price growth of 112.83% since 2000, whilst in the southern towns prices have risen by an average of 99.89%.

Nick Clark, Managing Director of the Property Investor and Homebuyer Show North, comments: “The growth seen in house prices in these northern resorts reflects not only how house prices in the north have caught up with the south in recent years, but a rise in popularity in the number of Brits who are holidaying in the UK.

“Traditional seaside resorts such as Blackpool have seen a huge increase in the number of visitors, ranging from hen and stag groups to families. The tourist influx is not limited to the summer either, with weekend and short breaks popular throughout the year. This has boosted the demand for rentals in these areas and landlords with property in a good location who are prepared to manage short term lets can see very favourable yields as well as strong capital gains.”

Brits took 70.5 million holidays within the UK in 2003, spending £13.7 billion including almost £1 million on rent for second ownership according to the British Tourism Authority.

Simon Gordon, Public Affairs Office of the National Landlords Association comments: “Short term holiday lets can represent very good business for landlords, as holiday makers are prepared to pay much higher rents than tenants who live in a property on an annual basis. But landlords must remember that holiday rentals are seasonal in most places and that, while they could let the property twice or three times over during the summer holidays, it may stand empty in the winter – although this does depend on the location. This makes it imperative for landlords to do their sums and factor in a realistic period of voids.

“Good presentation of the property is also important, as people who are on holiday like a property that is fresh, clean and well furnished. That helps secure repeat bookings and word-of-mouth recommendations, so that the property gets fully booked in advance throughout the season – what you don't want is for your rental business to be at the beck and call of the British weather.”

Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s theme park is the most popular tourist attraction in the UK, with 6.8 million visitors in 2004, compared to 4.9 million for its nearest rival, the National Gallery in London. The popularity of the park has done much to boost the town that was traditionally a favourite destination for working class holidays.

Blackpool-based Residential Landlords Association director Lee Dribben adds: “Although many investors prefer the security of year-round income from permanent accommodation, holiday lets can still command a premium price. Speculation about Blackpool becoming an ‘English Las Vegas’ has raised prices across the entire range of properties, with landlords and agents reporting increased enquiries from all over the country.”

**The Property Investor and Homebuyer Show North (24 to 26 June, G-Mex, Manchester) will feature a number of exhibitors and seminars providing expert advice and information on all aspects of homebuying and property investment, in the north, across the UK and overseas.