Waterfront properties in the UK have always been popular and now new research shows that the very best are priced as much as 81% higher than comparable inland homes.

Living by the water, whether it is a country house by a river, a one bedroom flat by the sea or a cottage next to a loch, is the ultimate lifestyle choice, according to the latest prime waterfront index from real estate firm Knight Frank.

And it is not just British buyers competing for the very best, there is always demand from overseas buyers, with 55% of international searches coming from Europe, and 26% from North America.

The report points out that the UK has a wide variety of waterfront locations that appeals to a diverse collection of buyers and a clear premium is paid by buyers for homes in close proximity to water. ‘For a number of purchasers it’s the ultimate lifestyle choice. Waterfront property is very niche and very desirable, often in a market of its own and that helps to underpin values,’ said Christopher Bailey, head of national waterfront at Knight Frank.
An analysis of valuations from Knight Frank’s experts across the country shows that prices for prime waterfront properties are as much as 81% higher than comparable inland properties.

The index measures the potential value uplift for prime homes on the water’s edge, or within close proximity to water, compared with similar properties located further inland.

‘The diverse nature of waterfront property across the UK attracts a real melting pot of buyers from all walks and at all stages of life, whether they be upsizers, downsizers or simply those looking for a lifestyle change. International buyers also form an important, part of the market,’ Bailey pointed out.

‘The appeal really is global. Our web search data shows that individuals from all over the world searched for prime waterfront property in the UK last year, led by potential buyers in the US, Germany, France and Spain,’ Bailey said.

He explained that a weaker pound following the European Union referendum has also benefitted non-sterling denominated purchasers, with Knight Frank figures showing a notable increase in the volume of expats buying waterfront property in 2016/2017 compared with the previous year.

‘In most cases the view is more important to buyers than the property itself. You can alter the property, but you can’t alter the outlook. The most important aspect to understand from a buyer’s perspective is the lifestyle they are looking for and how that can be matched to the property they will buy,’ added Bailey.