Property boom – why are more people moving to the coast?

2020 and the early part of 2021 has seen the majority of us spend more time indoors to adhere to the ‘stay at home’ restrictions imposed by the government.

This has led to a shift in priorities among property buyers, with many searching for larger homes with significant outdoor space.

With more people working remotely to uphold social distancing measures, it comes as no surprise that commuting has plummeted in the list of priorities.

In fact, prospective buyers in major cities are enquiring about properties outside the city, with 52% of Londoners looking to move outside of the capital, according to recent figures from Rightmove.

Here at Chimneypots, we take a closer look at the rise in popularity of coastal areas during the pandemic and explain how sellers can use this to their advantage when marketing their home for sale.

Coastal areas replace London as the most-searched locations

Rightmove’s data analysed how staying at home has affected where people want to live, where they are moving to, and the type of homes they are now searching for.

An increasing number of city dwellers have begun looking to the coast, with Cornwall knocking London off the top spot as the most searched location for buyers. Meanwhile, Dorset jumped into the top 10 searched for locations this year.

When looking at the second half of 2020, annual sales agreed grew by 69% in rural areas, compared to 49% in inner city urban areas.

Prospective buyers looking for a garden – one of the top desired features in a home – have hit a record high, and the term ‘garage’ has been the most popular keyword used by home hunters.

Regarding property types, sellers of five-bed detached homes have seen the biggest growth in the market, with average sales agreed up 38%, followed by four bed properties (up 28%).

Sellers of five-bed detached homes in the South East have seen sales agreed increase by 44%, much higher than London’s average of 26%.

Using coastal living to your advantage

Larger homes in the coast, the countryside, or more rural areas, have proven to be the sweet spot in the market as people look to trade up for extra rooms, a garden or a garage.

This, coupled with the beautiful landscapes these areas offer, can provide homeowners with added peace of mind, particularly in the warmer months when the outdoors looks its absolute best.

If your home falls into this category, and is fortunate enough to have a sea view, this will need to be front and centre of your marketing strategy to attract potential buyers.

For instance, homes in striking distance to the sea in the coastal cities of Southampton and Portsmouth should include relevant images and descriptions in their listings in order to entice potential buyers who are looking to escape urban areas.

Of course, when the viewing itself takes place, whether virtual or in person, you should ensure plenty of reference to your proximity to the coast is included to really sell your home to prospective buyers. It is likely to be one of your main selling points and, as the research above suggests, can help you to achieve asking price or above.

As more people seek out scenic coastal towns and villages to move to, sellers in areas across Hampshire and Dorset have a better chance of attracting a wider pool of buyers that are scrapping city life in favour of a quiet, peaceful lifestyle.

Even if you can’t offer sea views or seaside living, now is still a good time to sell, with demand from buyers remaining high and conditions for sellers remaining favourable in light of the recent extension of the stamp duty holiday.

Here at Chimneypots estate agents, we are doing all we can to help our clients during these uncertain times. If you require further guidance on selling your home successfully in South Coast locations – such as Southampton and Portsmouth – during the pandemic, please contact our team on 01489 584298.

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