Location is key and speed is of the essence when you are racing to complete on a second home.
Love them or hate them, second homes are a familiar part of Britain’s real estate landscape. And now the fortunate few will be searching for properties to beat George Osborne’s 3% stamp duty rise in April. Some pundits expect the market to spike ahead of this deadline, and you don’t have long to make your move. To give you a head start, here are our top 10 second home hot spots for your coastal bolthole, country cottage or smart city pad.
1. West Tytherley, Hampshire £485,000
In deepest Hampshire between Salisbury and Winchester, West Tytherley sits in the rolling countryside of the Test Valley. The River Test is a famous crystal-clear chalk stream, popular with fly fishermen. West Tytherley has a village hall, community shop, pub, church and primary school. There is also a Montessori nursery. This three-bedroom cottage backs onto woodland and has a very long front garden. There is a separate studio / annexe, too.
Call Winkworth Salisbury on 01722 443000 www.winkworth.co.uk/salisbury
2. Hampton Place, Brighton, East Sussex £575,000
Here is a stylish Georgian town house with a bow frontage and pretty wrought iron balcony. This is a maisonette set over three floors. Brighton’s Clifton Conservation Area has always been a smart and exclusive part of town. The Lanes are close by, with their numerous shops and restaurants, and the seafront is a short stroll away.
Call Winkworth Brighton on 01273 772175 www.winkworth.co.uk/brighton-hove
3. Thorverton, Devon £375,000
Located in the beautiful Exe Valley, Thorverton is a large village with a choice of pubs, a church and a school. There’s a post office and a farm shop nearby and plenty of activities take place in the village hall. This four-bedroom period house sits at the centre of the action. It has a walled courtyard garden and views over the green to the stream.
Call Winkworth Exeter on 01392 271177 www.winkworth.co.uk/exeter
4. Rock, Cornwall
This fishing village on Cornwall’s wild Atlantic coast has been called “Britain’s St Tropez” or “Chelsea on Sea” due to the number of affluent holidaymakers who head their in the summer. Despite its name, it has lovely sandy beaches. Situated on the Camel Estuary, Rock has a large sailing community and offers every other kind of water sport, too. Gordon Ramsey has just splashed out £4.4m on a five-bedroom holiday home here. Three-bedroom homes start at more than £300,000.
5. Alfred Place, Worthing, West Sussex £400,000
Oscar Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Earnest while staying in Worthing in the summer of 1894. The town retains an air of Edwardian elegance and easy Englishness. It sits at the foot of the Downs, between Brighton and Bognor Regis. Boat porches are an architectural style unique to Worthing. Thought to reflect the fisherman’s lifestyle of the original owners, the curved roof resembles the bottom of a boat. This Regency town house boasts a fine example and the period details continue throughout. The seafront is close by, at the other end of the street.
Call Winkworth Worthing on 01903 216219 www.winkworth.co.uk/worthing
6. Blakeney, North Norfolk
With the younger Royals settling in at Sandringham, the area’s popularity can only increase. Burnham Market is the “go-to” location if you want chi-chi boutiques and gastropubs, but quieter villages such as Blakeney are on the up. Here, you’ll find a narrow, winding high street, flint cottages and a quayside where you can go crabbing. A two-bedroom property can set you back £450,000.
7. Fisher Street, Lewes, East Sussex £525,000
The attractive market town of Lewes is famous for its spectacular annual bonfire celebration and its Twittens – steep Saxon lanes running parallel off the High Street. They are full of interesting, independent shops selling antiques and books, jewellery and crafts. This beautifully restored Georgian town house sits in one such street. It has three bedrooms, a huge reception room and open plan kitchen/diner with doors to a pretty courtyard garden.
Call Winkworth Lewes on 01273 471471 www.winkworth.co.uk/lewes
8. Pimlico, London SW1V £675,000
Of course, if you already live in the country, you may need a second home in the Big Smoke. In that case, you could do worse than this flat in Pimlico. Close to the Tube and Victoria – and even closer to the River Thames – this one-bedroom is on the ground floor of a Regency town house. There’s a separate vault for extra storage.
Call Winkworth Pimlico on 020 7828 1786 www.winkworth.co.uk/pimlico-westminster
9. Westcliff, Bournemouth, Dorset £400,000
Bournemouth has seven miles of sandy beaches to delight bathers, sun-worshippers and sandcastle-builders. It’s close enough to the New Forest and the Jurassic Coast to satisfy hikers and bikers. If you love to sail or fish, this area will be heaven to you. This three-bedroom flat in an art deco building overlooks the wooded chine, or valley, where footpaths lead to the sea.
Call Winkworth Westbourne on 01202 767633 www.winkworth.co.uk/westbourne
10. Snowdonia, North Wales
Up to 5% of homes in this national park are classed as holiday homes. It’s not surprising as the mountains here are probably the most accessible in the UK for much of its population. Buyers usually pay a premium of almost 60% to live in a national park, but Snowdonia offers some of the best value in the country. The average price of a property here is under £200,000. And you get dramatic views thrown in!