The Midlands 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, with nearly a tenth of respondents from the UK’s second city Birmingham, reveals that more than four in ten (43%) UK residents 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). In Birmingham, the results were similar, with 38% wanting to move to the coast.
This research chimes with the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) mid-2018 migration data which shows that the South West, well-known for its diverse coastline, experienced the greatest internal migration net flow, with more people moving to local authorities (30.5 people per 1,000 population) within the region than those leaving (25 people per 1,000 population)1.
The housebuilder’s research saw a clear preference for living by the coast from respondents in every UK region – apart from London where more people want to live in a suburban residential area. Almost a third of Londoners (32%) do want to live by the coast, but an equally strong percentage (31%) enjoy the vibrant buzz which living in a city or large town offers. Just under a quarter (24%) of those in the Capital want to live near major transport links – the highest percentage of all regions and more than 10 percentage points higher than the average (13%) (see table 2).
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. 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 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (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. 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 Abbey Walk in Priorslee and Romans Walk in Webheath. 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.”
Pauline Turnbull, Sales Director at Redrow Midlands, commented: “Here in the Midlands we are lucky enough to live right in the middle of the country, allowing us to access anywhere within a short drive. Whether that’s heading to the beach for the day, going into the city or exploring the countryside. I might be slightly biased but it really is the best place to live.
“We have many developments all over the midlands so there is something for everyone. For those wanting the quiet country life, but also want to experience the Birmingham hustle and bustle within a short distance, then Amington Green in Tamworth is perfect. Our development Ambion Way in Burbage, offers the perfect location for commuters wanting to live in a quitter area.”
"Here in the Midlands we are lucky enough to live right in the middle of the country, allowing us to access anywhere within a short drive. "
Pauline Turnbull, Sales Director at Redrow Midland
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