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A Room With a View - Prime Waterfront Properties

Peter Hemple reports

For an estate agent there are few easier sells than a property with a view over water, no matter whether it is overlooking a canal,river or sea. Throw in a decent sized balcony or terrace and the property usually 'sells itself'. But how many property investors have purposefully built their portfolios around water? While these properties may rent and sell a lot quicker than inland properties, many landlords may have been put off by the higher price tag that comes with a waterfront unit. But have they underestimated just how much more a waterfront property is worth?

According to Knight Frank's Waterfront Index 2014, UK waterfront properties are worth an average of 60% more than their inland counterparts, an 11% increase from last year. However, waterfront properties in the South West command an even higher price premium of 75%, which is a 17% increase on the premium of 58% reported by Knight Frank last year.

The index measures how much additional value a waterfront location can add to a property. Oliver Knight, residential research at Knight Frank, states in the report: 'A closer look at the data reveals that the premium varies by location. A waterfront position in South West England for example, offers the most added-value when compared to a similar property inland, with prices 75% higher. Prime riverside homes in London (+55%) and waterfront properties in the South East (+44%) and East Anglia (+41%) command the next largest uplifts.

'Of course, it's not just the location that adds value to a waterfront property. Amenities are also a crucial factor for many buyers and having direct access to water is something many people are prepared to pay a premium for. Private slipways are considered the most valuable feature, pushing up the waterfront premium by an average of 115%. Properties with a private mooring or pontoon see their waterfront premium rise by 104% and 100% respectively, while jetties and private beach access add 89% and 85%.'

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