Demand for coastal property begins to cool

Competition between buyers and renters for homes in many seaside areas is beginning to cool as more homes become available and coastal demand starts to ease, according to the latest research from Rightmove.

Competition is measured by the number of buyers or renters contacting estate agents in an area, compared to the number of properties available in that area. As demand eases and the number of available properties increases in an area, competition between buyers or renters becomes less fierce.

Cities heat up while the coast cools

In Cornwall, one of the key hotspots for people looking to move from an urban to a coastal area over the last two years, competition between buyers is an average of 27% lower than it was this time last year.

For renters in Cornwall, competition between tenants has eased by an average of 31%, with a jump of 29% in new properties coming to market to rent compared to this time last year, while demand is still 19% up on last year’s levels .

At a local level, Ilfracombe in Devon has seen the biggest easing in competition for buyers, dropping 64% compared to a year ago. For renters, it is Barton-on-Sea in Hampshire (-77%).

Across all seaside areas, competition has eased by an average of 10% for buyers and 1% for renters compared to last year.

However, this easing comes after exceptional competition in coastal areas since the pandemic began. Competition to buy a home in Cornwall is still more than twice (+ 132%) what it was this time in 2019, and more than three times for renters (+ 249%).

In all seaside areas, competition is up an average of 135% among buyers compared to 2019, and 216% for tenants.

While coastal areas begin to cool, competition between buyers and renters has risen across Great Britain’s 50 largest cities – by an average of 13% for buyers, and 29% for renters over the last year.

Bath (+ 49%), Carlisle (+ 42%) & Newcastle-upon-Tyne (+ 36%) top the list for buyers, while Edinburgh (+ 165%), Salford (142%) and London (140%) top the list for renters compared to a year ago. Buyer competition has increased by 35% in London.

The market remains busy

While there are signs of the market easing off in some of the past two years’ most frenetic hotspots, it remains very busy compared to the more normal market of 2019, and the imbalance between supply and demand will take many months to calibrate.

On a national scale, buyer demand, measured by the total number of people contacting estate agents about available properties, is up by a quarter (26%) compared to this time in 2019, while the number of new listings is down by 11%.

The market is moving at record speed, with the current 32 days to find a buyer being the shortest ever, and the number of sales being agreed is up by 7% compared to 2019.

The strength of the market means that 16% fewer properties are seeing reductions in price after listing compared to 2019.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science comments: “Since the market reopened at the beginning of the pandemic, there has been exceptional demand to move to coastal areas, and as the months progressed supply was increasingly unable to match demand.

“Now, we’re seeing that though demand is still very high in many coastal areas, it has slowed from the heady levels seen in parts of 2020 and 2021. We’re also seeing this on a national scale, where demand is very slowly easing compared to last year, but remains very high compared to 2019. As more choice becomes available in these seaside areas, we’re seeing some of the competition between buyers and renters begin to cool off, however, no two local markets are the same , and it will take many months for supply to reach a better balance with demand in many coastal areas. ”

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