The UK’s aspiration to live beside the sea is as strong as ever, according to new research from leading housebuilder Redrow.

An analysis of the views of 2,000 UK adults reveals that more than four in ten (43%) dream of owning a home by the coast, while almost 60% long to live by the water more generally with 16% looking to reside alongside a river (see table 1). This desire is particularly high in Wales, with just under 70% of residents surveyed in Cymru stating that they dream of living by the water.

The housebuilder’s research saw a clear preference for living by the coast and in the countryside from respondents in every UK region – apart from London where more people want to live in a suburban residential area. In Wales, 30% of respondents said that they want to live in the countryside, with a fifth claiming a desire to live in or near to a national park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Research also revealed that only 5% of people ranked living in a residential suburban area as one of their top three dream home locations. A stark comparison to respondents in Birmingham and Edinburgh, where a quarter of people ranked it as a top three priority.

When looking at the capital, over half (51%) of respondents in Cardiff would like to live on the coast while just under a third (29%) want to live in the countryside. Additionally, just 5% of people in Cardiff want to live in a city or large town, this compares to almost a quarter of Londoners (23%) and 10% of Bristolians. Similarly, just under a fifth of Londoners (19%) and 13% of Bristolians rate close proximity to major transport links as important to them, with only 5% of those in the Welsh capital agreeing.

When it comes to the younger generation of aspiring and current homeowners aged between 18 and 34, living near the coast ranked in fifth place in terms of preference nationally. Most respondents within this age group want to live in a suburban residential area (31%), followed by the countryside (30%) and a city or large town (27%) (see table 3).

More generally, living in the countryside was Brits’ second preference, with more than three in ten (31%) saying this would be the location of their dream home. More than two in ten (21%) of all respondents specifically want to live in or near to a national park or an AONB. Having recently celebrated their 70th anniversary, national parks are considered a good investment – with property prices in each of the UK’s 15 national parks experiencing price rises over the last five years, according to data from estate agent Savills.

Claire Jarvis, Group Sales Director at Redrow, comments:

From seaside spots to suburban towns and quaint villages, the UK’s property market offers buyers a huge variety of destinations to consider. Residing beside the water has long been and continues to be an aspiration for British homeowners – as highlighted by our latest research and strong sales at the Mill Meadows development in Sudbrook. However, it is interesting to see homes in residential towns in demand from both Londoners and those aged between 18 and 34 years old. With the use of Help to Buy we have helped hundreds of aspiring first time buyers and second steppers purchase their dream homes within suburban communities including Tinkinswood Green in Cardiff and Parc Plymouth at Plasdŵr. On these sites, which are often high-density and mixed-use, we look to provide high-quality services such as schools and parks, and improved infrastructure that come together to create thriving community spaces in which residents love to live.”

Focus on Mill Meadows

Rhys and Lucy Buckley and their young daughter, moved to a four-bedroom home at the Mill Meadows development in Sudbrook, nestled on the banks of the Severn estuary.

Rhys comments:

“For us the main benefits are that we are nearer to the water, with direct access to the coast path. Monmouthshire is a beautiful part of the world, the lovely town of Chepstow is a few minutes away, we have cities like Bristol, Newport & Cardiff within 30 minutes of home and we get to live in a gorgeous family home, built to a high standard. Mill Meadows is set among some beautiful countryside which we’re looking forward to exploring too.”

Bev Wookey, Sales Director at Redrow South Wales, commented:

“We are very proud that many of our developments are becoming popular with people wanting to live in stunning locations in the countryside and by water. The Mill Meadows development, for example, offers such a great way of life with it being so close to the countryside yet is close enough to the city with great transport links.”

 

Table 1. In which of the following locations would you like to have your dream home located? *
On the coast 43%
In the countryside 31%
In a village 25%
In or near to a national park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 21%
In a suburban residential area 19%
Alongside a river 16%
In a city or large town 15%
Near major transport links 13%
Other 1%
*Respondents were asked to pick their top three dream locations

 

Table 2. In which of the following locations would you like to have your dream home located?* North East North West Yorkshire and Humberside East Midlands West Midlands East of England London South East South West Wales
On the coast 34 % 39 % 43 % 47 % 39 % 49 % 32 % 44 % 48 % 49 %
In the countryside 34 % 29 % 41 % 37 % 36 % 32 % 23 % 29 % 31 % 30 %
In a village 29 % 23 % 27 % 30 % 23 % 32 % 19 % 25 % 29 % 31 %
In or near to a national park or AONB 25 % 23 % 25 % 22 % 21 % 20 % 23 % 21 % 19 % 20 %
In a suburban residential area 19 % 22 % 16 % 13 % 25 % 13 % 33 % 15 % 16 % 6 %
Alongside a river 14 % 17 % 13 % 14 % 10 % 17 % 20 % 14 % 18 % 20%
In a city or large town 15 % 15 % 12 % 12 % 11 % 11 % 31 % 15 % 11 % 7%
Near major transport links 5 % 15 % 9 % 15 % 9 % 12 % 24 % 12 % 10 % 7%
Other 4 % 1 % 1 % 3 % 0 % 3 % 1 % 0 % 1 % 2%

*Respondents were asked to pick their top three dream locations

Table 3. In which of the following locations would you like to have your dream home located? * 18-34 years old 35-54 years old 55+ years old
On the coast 24 % 46 % 53 %
In the countryside 30 % 37 % 28 %
In a village 26 % 23 % 27 %
In or near to a national park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 21 % 24 % 19 %
In a suburban residential area 31 % 14 % 15 %
Alongside a river 15 % 19 % 14 %
In a city or large town 27 % 12 % 9 %
Near major transport links 18 % 9 % 12 %
Other 0 % 1 % 2 %
*Respondents were asked to pick their top three dream locations

 

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