Weston-super-Mare’s property market is ‘busier than it’s ever been’ as people head out of Bristol for life by the sea.
One of the town’s leading property agents, David Plaister Ltd, says demand is outstripping supply with many properties selling in just a matter of days.
And the majority of those wanting to move to Weston are from Bristol.
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“Out of every 10 properties we sell, between six and eight are to people from Bristol,” said David Plaister, a property expert with more than 30 years experience.
“The rest are local buyers.
“Normally we see properties sell in around three weeks.
“But at the moment it is about three days, such is the demand.”
The number of people viewing each property has also soared, from an average of seven until sale, to around 30.
Demand for property in the town has been building over the last two years but has been buoyed further due to the coronavirus pandemic as people look to move away from cities.
The housing market has also been bolstered by Government incentives, such as stamp duty holidays.
“There are so many great things about Weston,” said Mr Plaister who runs David Plaister Ltd with his wife, son, daughter and a team of 14 staff.
“The property here is good value for money and we have the seafront, which has benefited from a £30 million investment in recent years and is lovely in summer and winter.
“The town also has fantastic train links into Bristol with many using the train and taking their pushbikes with them to make the final section of their journey.
“It’s also often quicker to drive from Weston to the centre of Bristol than it is to drive across Bristol itself.”
The demand for property has sadly also seen the return of gazumping. – that harbinger of white-hot markets that reached its frenzied peak in the new Labour era of the mid to late 90s.
“We have seen gazumping return on occasions,” said Mr Plaister.
“Properties are selling at their asking price and often over the asking price.”
Weston has seen mixed fortunes over the years.
In the 60s and 70s it was at its heyday as a seaside resort – favoured by visitors from the Midlands.
But with the emergence of cheaper foreign travel in the 80s or 90s the dynamic changed and saw visitors swapping their week or fortnight long holidays abroad.
In turn Weston became a destination for day trippers or those seeking a short break away from home.
Weston’s fortunes as a seaside hotspot were boosted with completion of a multi million project to upgrade its sea defences in 2010, which saw the seafront and promenade revitalised.
And although in recent decades the town has lost major employers such as Westlands and Clarks which provided thousands of local jobs, other entities – including Weston College – have continued to thrive.
New businesses and enterprises across the town have also started to spring up – even during the tough times of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Over the last 10 years, Weston has really started to bounce back and this has been reflected in the property market,” added Mr Plaister who was born and bred in Weston and still lives in the town.
And it’s not just house hunters which have their eye on Weston – developers are keen for a slice of the action too.
“Developers are coming here in their droves to develop in Weston,” he said.
“Around 30 to 40 per cent of all the sites being developed in the town are being done by Bristol developers,” said Mr Plaister.
And it’s a wide range of properties which are catching peoples’ eyes.
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“We sell all sorts of properties,” said Mr Plaister, “from family homes to properties worth £2.5 million.”
Mr Plaister – a qualified auctioneer – also holds auctions every other month – with many development sites across the town up for grabs.
And his company has recently invested in an architectural practice – based at the office in South Parade – to help developers snapping up sites in the town with their plans.
“Weston is most definitely on the up,” he said.
“It’s fast becoming the place that people want to call home.”
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