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South West seaside resort gets property investors' hearts racing

26 November 2007
Weston-Super-Mare is the latest property hotspot to be eyed by property moguls despite its reputation as a lack lustre British seaside resort, according to research by Halifax.

The fortunes of the once busy Victorian town are changing after a huge regeneration project has seen millions of pounds invested in an attempt to pull the town out of the doldrums.

Halifax's research has identified the 20 seaside towns in Britain that offer the highest quality of life and the best value for money and Weston came in fifth for being the best value for money and in twelfth place for offering the highest quality of life.

Weston is still one of the cheapest places to buy in the South West and it's proximity to Bristol has seen a rise in commuters choosing to live next to the sea, only 18 miles from the city.

House prices in the area have rise by 13 per cent in the past year alone yet buyers can still expect to pay a very reasonable £250,000 for a six bedroom Victorian house in the centre of the town. While an average two bedroom property in Bristol sells for £258,000, a property of the same size sells for £140,000 in Weston, making it an attractive prospect for many buyers.

Colin Kemp, Managing Director, Halifax Estate Agents, explains: "Seaside towns tend to have house prices that are at a premium to their surrounding areas and have generally seen strong house price growth over the past few years. There are still some bargains to be had for home buyers."

The architects behind Weston's regeneration would certainly agree having ploughed nearly £25 million restoring the town's landmark buildings including the Grade-II listed Victorian swimming baths, theatre and Dr Fox's Bath House in addition to the two brand new apartment buildings on Knightstone Island.

Other developers have also been quick to show their interest such as Urban Splash who is currently running a competition to find the design that will transform the near derelict 141-year-old Birnbeck Pier and island while the Tropicana open-air swimming pool on the sea front is also awaiting a new facelift.

Plans include a hotel, leisure development with restaurants, bars, a bowling alley and indoor pool.

Following news that house prices are set to remain stagnant over the next year, those wanting more house for their money could certainly benefit from considering Weston-Super-Mare as a viable option that could offer buyers a serious return.

Local estate agent Lee Murfitt of Palmer Snell adds: "When the market toughens in Bristol and London, we feel the pinch less here because Weston offers better value for money."

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