South West waterfront properties command average premium of 66%

Waterfront properties in the South West command the largest waterfront premiums in the UK, the results of Knight Frank’s annual Prime Waterfront Index show.

A waterfront setting in the South West can result in an uplift of as much as 66%. East Anglia (43%) and the South East (42%) were the areas that command the next largest uplifts.

Across the board, prime waterfront properties in the UK are worth an average of 54% more than their inland counterparts.

Not all waterfront properties are equal, however, as properties situated on estuaries command the largest premium in terms of waterfront location, with an average uplift of 82% compared to equivalent properties a few miles inland.

Such waterfront properties are in a sheltered position, yet still benefit from the lifestyle of living on the water.  In addition, the constant ebb and flow of the tide creates a wonderful environment for wildlife.  Estuary hotspots include villages such as Rock, Salcombe, Dartmouth, St Mawes and Newton Ferrers in the West Country and on the south coast areas such as Sandbanks and the Beaulieu River Estuary.

Harbour properties enjoy a premium uplift of about 81% and coastal properties – waterfront properties that do not overlook an estuary or harbour – are still worth 47% more than inland equivalents. Properties situated next to a river have an added value of 53%, while lakeside homes see an average uplift of 37%, up from 28% last year.

Special features of homes situated with direct access to water, such as moorings and pontoons, can often double the value of a home. Private slipways are the most valuable feature, pushing the waterfront premium by an average of 112%. Properties with a private mooring or pontoon see their waterfront premium rise by 105% and 100% respectively, with private beach access and jetties adding 82% and 80%.

Christopher Bailey, Head of Waterfront department at Knight Frank, said: “A year ago, early indications in 2012 suggested that the UK waterfront market was beginning to bounce back and this proved to be correct.  Since the latter half of 2012 demand for waterfront properties has improved definitively.

“So far, 2013 has shown clear signs of continued growing buyer sentiment, reflected by an increase in viewings of waterfront properties across the UK between January and April by 43% year on year, following on from a 38% increase over the same period in 2012 compared to 2011.

“Across the whole waterfront market buyers are still prepared to pay premiums for their lifestyle choices but the market is increasingly price sensitive. Due to the ease of accessing property data on the internet, buyers are now very well informed before they put bids forward. The key to successful selling is accurate and realistic pricing and this can still generate competitive bidding situations. Between £750,000 and £1,500,000 we have seen an increase in the number of sales agreed, again, where properties are realistically priced. We expect this trend to continue into 2014.

“Last year waterfront properties above £2million were not immune from the adverse effect of the increased stamp duty land tax to 7%.  However, in recent months both buyers and sellers appear to have factored this into their own calculations and expectations.”

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