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Editorial

Britain’s Newest Property Hotspot

Homebuyer searches for Morecambe in Lancashire have surged thanks to the return of ITV drama The Bay.

The airing of the second series of the show sparked a bigger seven-day increase in buyer searches on property portal Rightmove than anywhere else in Great Britain between 18th and 24th of January 2021 compared to figures from the week before. Furthermore, searches for homes for sale in the coastal town rose by 71 per cent in a week – up 149 per cent on the same week in 2020.

The stunning seaside town, boasting a five-mile stretch of sandy beach and the remnants of an old Victorian harbour that features heavily in the show, is the location screenwriter Daragh Carville chose to set the crime drama in having spent a lot of time there as a child and knowing it provided the perfect mix of beauty and decline he envisioned for his drama.

Homeowners in Morecambe have certainly benefited from the extra attention the show has brought with the average asking price of a home in the picturesque seaside town rising to £151,607, which is 6.4 per cent up on a year ago, and 16.7 per cent higher than five years ago.

Searches for homes to rent in Morecambe, where the average rent is £612 per calendar month, were also up 22 per cent over the same period, further highlighting the nation’s fascination with the location shoots from the show.

Laura Fort, Sales Negotiator at Ibay Homes in Morecambe, said of the programme that has propelled the town to be named the country’s newest property hotspot: “The Bay has certainly put Morecambe on the map in recent weeks, and I’m not surprised that searches have increased so much because the market has been crazily busy. 

“We’re already seeing lots of people moving here from Manchester and London; probably because you can get a real bargain and buy a four-bed house for about £150,000.

“However, there’s lots more to Morecambe than what you see on the show. Eden Project North is a massive attraction that’s coming to the town and will create loads of jobs and really boost the local economy.” 

“There are lots of regeneration plans in the pipeline for Morecambe so it’s quite an up and coming place. The landscape is beautiful, too, and you’re never far from the seafront.”

Rightmove’s latest study also illustrates the public’s continued interest in property for sale in the South West.

Looe, a small coastal town in Cornwall, saw weekly buyer searches jump 176 per cent compared to the same period in 2020, followed by Padstow (+154%), Morecambe (+149%), and St Ives(+123%).

Andrew McKnight, Managing Director of MAP Estate Agents in Cornwall, said: “Whenever I turn on the TV there is a programme about Cornwall. Whether it be a fishing show or a cooking show or Poldark, there is a national interest in the county and TV companies wouldn’t be making these shows if people weren’t interested in the way of life down here.”

Fowey (+121%), Ilfracombe (+121%), Woolacombe (+105%), and Salcombe (+101%) also saw huge annual rises in buyer searches, meaning that places in Devon and Cornwall account for seven of the top 10 locations in terms of year-on-year increases.

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “People are watching TV shows such as The Bay and then scrolling through Rightmove on their devices to see what’s available, and that’s why we’ve seen such a big spike in interest for property in Morecambe. The same is true of Devon and Cornwall. There’s a number of Cornwall-focused lifestyle shows on TV at the moment and it’s hard not to get swept away dreaming about a life in the south-west. We already know that rural and seaside areas are rising in popularity, so it’s a trend that bodes well for sellers in these locations.”

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