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September 7, 2012 8:28 pm
In Knight Frank’s recent Prime UK Waterfront Property Index, homes on the water cost an average of 56 per cent more than their inland equivalents. According to Christopher Bailey, head of the agent’s waterfront team, properties situated on the edge of estuaries command the largest premium, with an average uplift of 85 per cent, while special features, such as private slipways and pontoons, can often double the value of a home.
However, in order to make a successful sale it is important that owners don’t get carried away. Peter Halliday, managing director of agency Waterside Properties, says: “Vendors often think their properties are worth more than they are in the current economic climate but when they are realistic, there is good demand.”
Apartments in marina locations are also popular with investors, thanks to a healthy rental market. “Letting values have risen, so investors are getting a better yield than before. In Oyster Quay, Port Solent – a coastal destination on the UK’s south coast built 25 years ago with shops, restaurants, bars and marina – they can achieve 5 per cent net,” says Halliday.
Waterside Properties is selling a two-bedroom apartment in Oyster Quay for £245,000 and a three-bedroom town house with mooring for £480,000. On the river at Hamble, a major sailing destination leading to Southampton Water, the same agent is marketing Rio House, a thatched three-bedroom home with office wing and garden leading to the water for £1.95m. On the opposite side of Southampton Water, it is selling a six-bedroom semi-detached house with 13-metre mooring in Hythe Marina Village for £850,000.
Property on the Beaulieu River, an idyllic location west of Southampton, has always commanded high prices; Knight Frank is selling Tukal, a 1960s property with a 60ft pontoon, jetty and slipway. The eight-bedroom house, with 4.2 hectares of landscaped gardens, is on the market with a guide price of £12m.
Keeping a boat in busy marinas can be expensive and, in some cases, applicants must sit on waiting lists for several years. In Salcombe, one of the most visited harbours in south Devon, there is a three- to four-year waiting list for deepwater moorings and those wishing to moor their boat in the Victoria Quay pontoons might have to wait 12 years. Only people who own a home in South Hams may apply, and those living there full-time are given priority. Views of Salcombe Harbour can be enjoyed from any of the 10 houses and two apartments at Estura, the first waterside development in the town for almost 20 years. Prices range from £1.44m to £2.375m for a five-bedroom house through Marchand Petit.
Further west, on the river Fowey in Cornwall, it is now impossible even to secure a place on the deepwater mooring waiting list, as it has closed for an indefinite period. But a boat could be kept at Pieds Dans L’eau, a five-bedroom house on the banks of the river, which has its own mooring and jetty. Jackson Stops & Staff is selling the property for £2.995m.
Another well-known sailing area in the UK is the Helford River in Cornwall – the inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s 1941 novel Frenchman’s Creek. Hannah Edge of Strutt & Parker says: “Houses with their own moorings and direct river access are rare and tend to sell very quickly – often off-market.” The agent is selling The Mill house and Mill Studio on the Trelowarren estate, near Mawgan. The five-bedroom property has a boathouse, quay, slipway and mooring, as well as a paddock and woodland of just over a hectare. It is listed at £1.4m.
Within Chichester Harbour in West Sussex, south-east England, there are popular sailing locations such as Bosham, Birdham and Itchenor. In the latter, moorings cost £1,440 per annum for a 10-metre boat and are difficult to find. It is possible to obtain a mooring in Chichester Marina, but at a cost of £3,829 a year for a 10-metre boat.
At Bosham, a pretty village popular with dinghy sailors, Quay House, a 1960s property by the harbour wall, is for sale. The vendors keep their Classic Dayboat on their mooring a few metres away. The 6,000 sq ft house with five bedrooms, boat store and walled garden is for sale through Jackson Stops & Staff for £4.5m.
The Isle of Wight is another leading sailing location, known for the annual Cowes Week regatta. The Old Post Office, a six-bedroom house with a two-bedroom flat and offices, has direct water access in the heart of Cowes with a large boat store, decked area with a crane for lifting small boats out the water and a shared pontoon. Knight Frank and Christopher Scott are selling the property with a guide price of £2.5m.
Vantage Point, a development of 13 large apartments built by Banner Homes in Cowes, has some of the best views across the Solent. The land was sold to the developer by Harold Cudmore, a skipper at races including the America’s Cup. Cudmore lives in the penthouse, but will move into a new five-bedroom house, built alongside the apartments, when it is finished. “The views are so stunning that our biggest problem is getting visiting friends to leave,” he says. Five two-bedroom apartments remain for sale, priced from £695,000 to £795,000. Banner is also offering to redevelop two flats into a three-bedroom property for £1.595m.
On the Norfolk coast, where there are numerous sailing clubs, Ship Lane is a development of 18 detached four- to six-bedroom houses close to the water in Thornham. This is an upmarket town near the harbours of Brancaster, Burnham Overy Staithe and Wells-next-the-Sea. Of the seven units that have been built so far, three remain for sale for £1.05m-£1.225m through Bidwells.
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