Buying Trends for Waterside Properties are Returning says South West Agent as New Dartmouth Scheme Launches


The south west of England, encompassing the counties of Devon and Cornwall, was always a popular area to buy a second home up to 2007/8. Following the recent re-opening of the mainline railway at Dawlish after the winter storms, increased confidence in the market and the launch of a number of new developments, the region is now firmly back on the map for second home buyers.

James Gibbs, Land & New Homes Director from Local agents Jackson Stops, reports: “Our research shows that some of the previous waterside ‘new-home’ buying trends are now returning, with buyers for the North Devon & North Cornwall coastlines tending to come from Bristol, the Midlands and South East; whereas for the East & South Devon coast, they tend to from the Home Counties. With the launch of a variety of new waterside development schemes in key locations there is an increasing interest from out of region buyers.

“What is clear is that as the supply of suitable development schemes is picking up, the number of new build second home buyers is also increasing, with specific requirements for the Devon and Cornwall coastline.”

Properties along the waterfront command the largest premiums in the UK, and according to Halifax, the price of a seaside house rises by £500 a month, with the five priciest resorts listed as Salcombe, Sandbanks, Aldeburgh, Padstow and Dartmouth.

James Gibbs says: “Sails, at Dartmouth, is an example of a rare find of a property overlooking an estuary. Sails is a new build scheme within the town centre, directly overlooking the River Dart; comprising two and three bedroom apartments, together with a stunning three bedroom penthouse. Completion is due February 2015, with the apartments just released for sale ‘off-plan’, with guide prices starting from £640,000. Dartmouth and the surrounding areas are particularly popular with buyers over 60 and retirees.”

Tony Dowse, Chairman of Environ Communities, the developer of Sails says: “Waterfront properties on an estuary, like Sails are in a sheltered position, yet still benefit from the lifestyle of living on the water. The constant ebb and flow of the tide also creates a wonderful environment for wildlife, making it a very idyllic place in which to live.”

Christopher Bailey, Head of Waterfront department at Knight Frank, comments “Across the whole waterfront market buyers are still prepared to pay premiums for their lifestyle choices.”

Dartmouth is often referred to as the “Jewel in Devon’s crown” due to its array of medieval and Elizabethan streetscapes and its patchwork of narrow lanes and stone stairways, home to a collection of boutique shops, art galleries and delicatessens.

With a vast number of activities on offer such as walking, golf, fishing, and sailing amidst the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty, Dartmouth is a very popular destination.

It is also synonymous with good food and drink and the abundance of locally grown, high-quality ingredients means chefs flock to the region. Mitch Tonks is one such chef who has opened a restaurant, The Seahorse, on the banks of the River Dart. Voted as Tatler’s restaurateur of the year, and labelled by The Independent as ‘a fishmonger for the 21st Century’, the restaurant specialises in local fish and meat cooked over a charcoal fire. The restaurant regularly hosts guest chef nights with high profile chefs such as Mark Hix, Fergus Henderson, Gregg Wallace, Joyce Molyneaux, Matt Dawson and Rick Stein.

Dartmouth has no shortage of stunning National Trust sites, a particular favourite being Agatha Christie’s holiday home, Greenway.  Agatha and her family would spend summers and Christmases at the home and set within the 1950s, the home still contains many of the family’s belongings, providing an intriguing glimpse into Agatha Christie’s private life.

Sales enquiries for Sails, please contact Jackson-Stops & Staff, Tel +44 (0)1392 214222.

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Editors Notes

Environ Communities, headed up by Tony Dowse, has recently won an award for ‘Best Small Developer’ by What House? Magazine and was overall UK winner of the coveted Green Leaf Award, amongst others.  Environ create lifetime homes with a traditional and timeless beauty: from iconic, modern homes overlooking the Atlantic to spacious, unique family homes in Kentish hamlets and even cosy and peaceful retirement homes in quiet market towns. Attention to detail, landscaped gardens and sense of place and community run through everything they do.

Environ’s modern home developments aim to achieve a true sense of that old fashioned notion of “community” and this is the reason they are called Environ Communities.


Media Contact: Vicky Goodall, P1 Communications, Tel +44 (0)208 614 7503. Email: