Sunny Outlook for investors in UK seaside towns

Research just released by Rightmove looked at which places currently offered buy-to-let investors the best total return - combining rental return with capital gains.

Looking specifically at the period after April’s stamp duty change, it found the best places for investment were in seaside towns within commuter striking distance of London such as St Leonards-on-Sea (13.7%), Southend-on-Sea (at 14.7%) and Clacton-on-Sea (12.4%).

So for anyone in the market for a new buy-to-let, here’s a little information on each town to get you thinking…

St Leonards-on-Sea

St Leonards-on-Sea is neighbour to Hastings on the Sussex coast and a hotspot this weekend with the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings taking place in the vicinity. But despite the area’s fame for medieval history, it is the striking Georgian architecture that makes St Leonards-on-Sea so special.

Developer-architect James Burton, and his son Decimus, developed the resort in the early 19th century. If has grand terraces and squares reminiscent of statelier parts of London – the Burtons had already cut their teeth laying out patches of Marylebone and Belgravia. Today it is more than a retirement resort but has a vibrant artistic community.

There are two stations West St Leonards and St Leonards Warrior Square. On a good train it takes 90 minutes to London Charing Cross; on a bad, two hours. On the road, travel times should improve once the A21 road widening project at Tunbridge Wells is finished at the end of March 2017.

The average price of a flat is £169,865, a terrace £320,457, a semi-detached £247,165 and detached £418,895.


A £50 million seafront revamp and 40-minute commute to London are putting this Essex town in the spotlight. The seafront, with the world’s longest pleasure pier at 1.34 miles, is the focal point for regeneration. Turnstone Estates is planning the huge development to include a cinema, 10 restaurants, a hotel and leisure centre.

Southend has three train stations. The Central and East stations have 50-minute to an hour services to Fenchurch Street, while the journey from Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street is about an hour.

The average price of a flat is £176,032, a terrace £256,052, a semi-detached £314,998 and detached £412,847.


Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Essex Sunshine Coast. As a town it is not without its problems. But its attractiveness as a seaside destination beyond its current lovely beach should be dramatically improved due to the £36 million pound coastal defence project from Clacton Pier to Holland Haven.This renaissance of the seafront covers 5km creating 22 new glorious beaches in separate bays which can be enjoyed at all states of the tide. The project should complete by the end of 2017.

The journey time by train from London Liverpool Street is about an hour and a half.

The average price of a flat is £129,872, a terrace £175,326, a semi-detached £208,829 and detached £204,429.

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