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Britain’s waterfront properties continue to command high price premiums

Property along Britain’s prime waterfront can be as much as 80% more expensive than similar properties inland, and this figure rises to 133% for properties with a private slipway, according to new research.  

The South West of England has the highest premiums, averaging 105%, followed by 96% in London. Premiums are typically 51% in East Anglia, 46% in the South East, 44% in Scotland, and 25% in Wales, according to a compilation of valuations from property experts used to form the waterfront index for real estate firm Knight Frank.

The index compares prime waterfront properties with similar properties located further inland, to measure the potential value disparity.

Waterfront homes with a slipway command the highest premiums, typically around 133%, followed by homes with a mooring at 121%. A pontoon can add around 120% to the value, while both a jetty and private access to a beach can add premiums of around 100%, and a sea view 78%.

Homes located on an estuary carry a premium of 108%, while by homes based by a harbour carry 107% premiums. Both coastal and riverside homes command premiums of 77%, while properties by a lake carry 50% premiums.

‘Despite relatively higher purchase prices, the lure of the water remains as strong as ever. The number of new prospective buyers looking to purchase a waterfront property increased by 24% in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to our figures,’ said Oliver Knight, research associate at Knight Frank.

‘Sales volumes were up by 8%. However, the average price of a home sold by the water in 2017 by Knight Frank was just under £1 million, a slight decrease on the long term average,’ he added.

Agents suggest that the introduction of a higher rate of stamp duty on second homes in 2016 does not appear to have deterred buyers from showing interest in waterfront property, though the market has become more price sensitive since.

‘The figures are underpinned by the fact that the most desirable coastal towns and cities across the UK hold a global appeal, something that can help shelter such markets from any localised uncertainty,’ Knight explained.

He also pointed out that waterfront property in the UK was sought after from people all over the world last year, with potential buyers hailing mainly from the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany.

Knight also added that the decrease in the value of the pound against other currencies following the Brexit vote has benefitted non-sterling purchasers, with agents claiming that interest from expats has grown.

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