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Britain’s coastal hotspots cool: Demand for homes by the sea eases

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Competition among buyers and tenants for coastal areas is beginning to cool following frenzied activity for seaside locations during the pandemic, new data has revealed.

Several lockdowns saw homebuyers and tenants seek to get out of town and grab more space, particularly along Britain’s coastlines, causing a huge wave of demand against a backdrop of a low level of supply. 

But the tide is now beginning to turn, with Rightmove claiming that some coastal areas have seen competition drop by more than 60 per cent.

Rightmove has revealed the coastal areas in Britain that have seen the biggest easing in competition for homebuyers

Rightmove has revealed the coastal areas in Britain that have seen the biggest easing in competition for homebuyers

Ilfracombe, Devon, (pictured) has seen the biggest easing in competition for homebuyers, down 64 per cent in a year

Ilfracombe, Devon, (pictured) has seen the biggest easing in competition for homebuyers, down 64 per cent in a year

The property website used its own asking price data, and defined competition as the number of buyers or tenants contacting estate agents divided by the number of properties available in an area.

It means that as demand eases and the number of available properties increases in an area, competition between buyers or tenants becomes less fierce.

Cornwall has been one of the key hotspots for people looking to move from an urban to a coastal area in the past two years.

But competition between buyers on this part of Britain is an average of 27 per cent lower than it was this time last year.

And for tenants, competition has eased by 31 per cent on average, with a 29 per cent increase in new properties to rent compared to a year ago, while demand is still up 19 per cent on last year’s levels.

This five-bedroom end of terrace property in Ilfracombe is for sale for £285,000 via estate agents Bond Oxborough Phillips

This five-bedroom end of terrace property in Ilfracombe is for sale for £285,000 via estate agents Bond Oxborough Phillips

SEASIDE AREAS WHERE BUYER COMPETITION HAS DECREASED
Location Average Asking Price May 2022 Change in buyer competition YoY
Ilfracombe, Devon £274,497 -64%
Brixham, Devon £344,231 -40%
Deal, Kent £381,026 -40%
Prestatyn, Denbighshire £213,343 -37%
Barton On Sea, Hampshire £596,966 -36%
Porthcawl, South Glamorgan £354,288 -35%
Canvey Island, Essex £337,522 -35%
Cromer, Norfolk £293,297 -33%
Abergele, Conwy £241,968 -32%
Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex £366,396 -31%
Source: Rightmove     

At a local level, Ilfracombe in Devon has seen the biggest easing in competition for buyers dropping 64 per cent compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, for tenants, the biggest easing in competition is in Hampshire’s Barton-on-Sea, which is down 77 per cent.

Across all seaside areas, competition has eased by an average of 10 per cent for buyers and 1 per cent for tenants 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 what it was this time in 2019, , up 132 per cent, and more than three times greater for renters, up a massive 249 per cent.

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

This four-bedroom detached bungalow in Barton-on-Sea is for sale for £849,950 via Pettengells estate agents

This four-bedroom detached bungalow in Barton-on-Sea is for sale for £849,950 via Pettengells estate agents

SEASIDE AREAS WHERE TENANT COMPETITION HAS DECREASED
Location Average Asking Rent May 2022 (per calendar month) Change in tenant competition YoY
Barton On Sea, Hampshire £1,512 -77%
Shanklin, Isle Of Wight £860 -53%
Abergele, Conwy £800 -46%
Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex £2,034 -45%
Swanage, Dorset £964 -44%
Seaford, East Sussex £1,274 -43%
Llandudno, Conwy £832 -41%
Herne Bay, Kent £1,141 -41%
Teignmouth, Devon £1,080 -35%
Brixham, Devon £860 -33%
Source: Rightmove     

While coastal areas begin to cool, competition between buyers and renters has risen across Britain’s 50 largest cities, according to Rightmove.

It said competition has risen by an average of 13 per cent for buyers, and 29 per cent for tenants in the last year.

It explained that topping the list for buyers is Bath, which is up 49 per cent, Carlisle – which has risen 42 per cent – and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which is up 36 per cent.

At the same time, Edinburgh – which is up 165 per cent , Salford – which is up 142 per cent – and London – which is up 140 per cent – top the list for renters compared to a year ago.

Buyer competition has increased by 35 per cent in London, Rightmove added.

Rightmove said that the city of Bath topped the list for buyers, where competition has increased 49 per cent on a year ago

Rightmove said that the city of Bath topped the list for buyers, where competition has increased 49 per cent on a year ago

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: ‘After such a long time working from home and unable to socialise during the pandemic, many people seem desperate to catch up on lost time by being in a busy, buzzing crowded environment. Restaurants, theatres, public transport and pubs in city centres all seem to be very busy again.

‘Living on the coast may be relaxing but a significant number used to being in a city full of variety and activity seem to hanker for a return to that energy. Zoom meetings with work colleagues cannot replicate face-to-face networking. The death of the city is not likely any time soon.’

CITIES WHERE BUYER COMPETITION HAS INCREASED
Location Average Asking Price May 2022 Change in buyer competition YoY
Bath £558,882 49%
Carlisle £155,077 42%
Newcastle Upon Tyne £208,951 36%
London £689,230 35%
Oxford £539,059 33%
Chester £296,556 30%
Southampton £270,967 27%
St. Albans £669,020 26%
Dundee £155,390 24%
Cambridge £524,101 24%
Source: Rightmove     
This three-bedroom terrace property in Bath is for sale for £600,000 via Fidelis estate agents

This three-bedroom terrace property in Bath is for sale for £600,000 via Fidelis estate agents

CITIES WHERE TENANT COMPETITION HAS INCREASED
Location Average Asking Rent May 2022 (per calendar month) Change in tenant competition YoY
Edinburgh £1,213 134%
London £2,449 115%
Salford £1,036 91%
Manchester £1,041 83%
Newcastle Upon Tyne £961 79%
Southampton £1,114 73%
Glasgow £908 65%
Aberdeen £859 59%
Durham £867 57%
Cardiff £1,170 55%
Source: Rightmove     

While there are signs of the market easing off in some of the past two years’ most frenetic hotspots, it remains busy compared to the market of 2019, Rightmove insisted.

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

The market is moving at near-record speed, with the current 32 days to find a buyer being the second quickest ever, following 31 days April and 33 days in March. And the number of sales being agreed is up by 7 per cent compared to 2019.

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

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘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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Barings and HBD secure planning for London logistics scheme (GB)

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Barings and HBD have secured detailed planning for a strategic logistics scheme in Rainham, London, transforming a 20-acre brownfield site. The new development, Momentum London, is being delivered by Barings and HBD in a joint venture partnership. It will create 381,814ft² of new logistics and industrial space across four units ranging from 41,000 -171,000ft².

 

The scheme will target Net Zero Carbon, BREEAM “Excellent” and an EPC “A+” rating. This is being achieved by dynamic design, careful consideration of materials, zero use of fossil fuels, maximizing photovoltaic solar panels, battery storage and intelligent building systems. The units will be 100% EV ready, including passive fleet charging to the yards.

 

The logistics park will be set in landscaped environment with picnic and public areas, as well as direct access onto the Thames Cycle Path, so that it brings further social benefits to the area. Positioned on the River Thames, with potential for jetty access, Momentum will offer an easy stepping stone into Central London and out via the A13, just minutes away.

 

Darren Hutchinson, Head of UK Real Estate Transactions and Managing Director at Barings, said: Momentum London will be a strategically located logistics scheme with strong environmental and social credentials, beneficial both to future occupiers and the communities around it. Logistics is one of Barings’ preferred investment sectors and Momentum London exemplifies the kind of developments we’re seeking, with a keen interest in exploring joint ventures like this one with HBD.”

 

Simon Quine, Senior Development Surveyor at HBD, said: “Industrial and logistics space remains in very limited supply across London, particularly larger distribution units. Momentum will plug that gap within the M25 and provide modern, sustainable logistics and distribution space to serve London and the wider South East market. Landscaping and wellness have been thoroughly considered, with careful design considerations and enhancements to the Thames Foot and Cycle path, which we hope will help occupiers to attract and retain staff.”

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Mirrored furniture trend can create the illusion of space in your home

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Mirrored furniture provokes strong emotions. Some see it as the epitome of bad taste, flashy and bling. Others know that mirrors have magic powers.

A mirrored table or cabinet makes a room or a hallway appear more swish and spacious. It’s a trick that bars and restaurants employ to ensure their establishments appear roomier and more inviting — and they can add lustre to your home, too.

Choosing a piece of mirrored furniture also sends out a sign that you are aware of one of the year’s trends — the return of Art Deco, the influential style that emerged in the 1920s. 

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

It blended forms that celebrated modern machinery with decorative elements drawn from Greco-Roman culture and nature. 

The mirror was a favourite material, used on the surfaces of furniture and walls to supply a shimmering silver and gold effect.

Probably the most famous piece of Art Deco architecture is New York’s Chrysler Building. Completed in 1930, its sunburst-patterned stainless steel spire remains one of the key elements of the Manhattan skyline.

Art Deco console tables, drinks trolleys and other items from the era of the building’s construction sell for thousands on auction sites such as 1stdibs underlining the growing appeal of this aesthetic. 

Jamie Watkins, the co-founder of fabric and wallpaper company Divine Savages, explains Art Deco’s allure for a new audience.

‘Art Deco, with its bold geometrical patterns was such an iconic period for design: it’s synonymous with glamour and luxury.’

The resurgent popularity of Art Deco is also based on its practicality: a mirrored piece works with almost any interior, adding interest and depth.

The power of the mirror to create a wow impression has been recognised for centuries. 

Examples of this technique include the round mirror on the wall behind the bride and groom in Jan van Eyck’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery. It sends out the message that the couple are discerning — and wealthy.

Cheers: B&M's £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

Cheers: B&M’s £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

The hall of mirrors in the palace of Versailles was designed to be a place of beauty, but also to display the financial resources of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Mirrors were a luxury item until an inexpensive manufacturing process was invented in the 1830s.

In 2022, it is possible to pick up mirrored pieces for under £100. B&M has a £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves that would lend an air of Thirties elegance to any gathering. The £94.99 Ellison serving cart (a U.S. term for drinks trolley) from Wayfair has a similar vibe.

If you believe that the right mirrored trolley would save you money on trips to bars, the larger £144.95 gold oval mirrored trolley from Melody Maison could be the thing.

A mirrored cocktail cabinet will dazzle guests. The £1,200 Primrose & Plum champagne and gold cabinet has a Jazz-Age feel.

The £299 Venetian sideboard from Furniture Market, meanwhile, is a more modestly priced way to conjure up the party spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

The show flats of apartment blocks are often equipped with mirrored cocktail cabinets containing bottles of spirits and crystal glasses. This makes buyers dream of dinner parties, with a prelude of aperitifs, but also serves to make the apartment appear even roomier.

A console table in the hall also creates an illusion of space which can be amplified by the addition of a lamp. HomesDirect365 has a range in the style of almost every era including Art Deco, Regency, the 1960s and the 1970s. Prices start at £233.

The bedroom is often the most cramped room in either a house or flat which is why this can be the best place to experiment with mirrored furniture. 

The desire to preserve family harmony is another reason. The other members of your household may prefer the kitchen and living room to be slick and understated, seeing anything mirrored as excessive.

In the bedroom, however, you can indulge your decor fantasies. Habitat has the one-drawer Hepburn bedside table for £76.

Next offers the antique effect Fleur bedside table which costs £225 for the one-drawer version and £275 for the two-drawer version. 

The Fleur is also available as a six-drawer chest for £599 or a £1,150 double wardrobe if you seek to waft around your bedroom channelling your inner 1930s Hollywood screen siren. 

Dunelm’s Venetian mirrored dressing table also offers a chance to live out your dream of silver screen stardom (£449).

If mirrored furniture has brought out your party animal, kindling a passion for Art Deco in every guise, Divine Savages offers Deco Martini wallpaper whose design is based on the geometric forms, with a hidden Martini glass within the print (£150 per roll).

Some of your guests may not be too busy checking out their reflections on the doors of the mirrored cabinet to notice this subtle and witty detail in the wallpaper.

Savings of the week! water jugs… Up to 52% off 

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

Sitting outside on a sunny afternoon is already delightful. But it is even more enjoyable if you are sipping on a cool drink or an iced coffee from a generously sized jug, or maybe even a Pimm’s. The arrival of the July sales means bargains abound.

If you prioritise practicality, Ocado’s textured lustre plastic picnic jug has 33 per cent off at £8.

The price of the pleasingly geometric plastic smoky-grey Prism jug from Wayfair is 16 per cent off at £10.10. 

If you would like to feel as if you are in the south of France, John Lewis has the plain glass Arles wicker-wrapped jug. It is reduced from £25 to £12, down 52 per cent.

Wanting something more elegant that you can also use for flowers? The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is also half-price at £22.

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VGP acquires French logistics development

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VGP NV and VALGO signed an agreement to purchase 32 hectares of land that housed the former Petroplus refining units in Petit-Couronne, near Rouen. This brownfield rehabilitation project is fully in line with VGP’s core expertise and strategy. Thanks to the six years ownership of the site by VALGO and its expertise in asbestos removal, soil and water table decontamination, in-situ waste treatment and development, this area has now become a suitable site for the development of new industries and business activities.

 

On the banks of the river Seine and close to the A13 highway, the 32-hectare area of land offers its future users a highly strategic location. Following the extensive depollution work carried out by VALGO, the site is now ready for redevelopment. VGP expanded into France only a few months ago and is delighted to start its French business activities in the dynamic Rouen Normandy metropolis area, via this major project. In total, around 150,000m² of land are set to be redeveloped to accommodate industrial and logistics projects, with work due to begin in 2023.

 

Jan Van Geet, CEO VGP, said: “VGP is delighted to begin its business activities in France on a site as exceptional as this one, with strong economic and environmental ambitions that are shared by both our partner, VALGO, and the local authorities. As the rehabilitation of brownfield sites is at the heart of our business, this project is a great opportunity for us to deploy our industrial and logistical know-how. The uncertain geopolitical situation and the rise in transport prices mean that companies are increasingly looking for local support to start their business. In this context, we strongly believe in the relevance of our integrated model with a long-term vision. We are now eager to get to work and bring all the expertise of the Group to the project.”

 

Francois Bouche, CEO VALGO, commented: “We are delighted that this huge piece of land has been sold to a major investor with experience in redeveloping brownfields in Europe. However, I would first like to celebrate the work of the men and women who worked so hard to make this colossal project a success. It took more than 1 million hours and over €60m in investment by VALGO to turn the page on over 80 years of refining on this site, which already employs 600 people.”

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