By land and water

Property by the sea is going sky-high.
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Even though it is early, Easter will give the Westcountry its first taste of the annual rush of visitors. Many - with lingering affections for the area - will decide that this is the time to invest in a home away from urban life, preferably close to the water. Those who hanker after the Salcombe estuary, though, will have to find upwards of pounds 750,000 for one of the few houses there. The large inlet, called a ria, is dotted with tiny creeks and is designated an area of outstanding beauty. There are only 30 properties, some with moorings, along that stretch of National Trust land and the last one sold by local agents Marchand Petit went for a million pounds as a second home. They are about to launch six more affordable properties, though, at Hope Cove, south Devon - a bucket and spade family beach.

The two buildings, with three flats each, lead straight on to the sand, and a number of people are interested in them as holiday homes which can be let for as much as pounds 100 per person in high season. The show flat is open at Easter and prices start at pounds 92,500 for a two-bedroom flat.

Further west, in Plymouth, what attracts most people to the Barbican is not just its proximity to the water but that its main purpose is as a fishing harbour. There is nothing contrived about the jumble of boats that are moored there, even if the shops are more likely to sell trinkets than tackle. Some of the oldest streets meander up to the Hoe and even though it has seen harbourside buildings converted into restaurants and bars, its commercial life is still at the centre. During the Eighties, developments of flats sprang up around Sutton Harbour but only now are they regaining their 1988 values, according to Plymouth agents Stratton Creber, who have a two bedroom first floor flat overlooking the water at pounds 83,950 and another at pounds 64,950. A five storey house on the Hoe, looking out to the Sound, sold for just under pounds 200,000.

Plymouth Development Corporation, which has taken over MoD property, is offering a restored shell of 18,000 square feet right on Plymouth waterfront. Stratton Creber are asking for offers in the region of pounds 275,000. In Brighton, investors are buying into Barrat's waterside development at the Marina. One couple recently bought one flat for themselves and two identical ones for investment as Brighton has a very healthy short-term rental market. Prices range from around pounds 57,995 with duplexes starting at pounds 138,995.

In London, it is not just the Thames that offers waterside living. Regalian has converted the Grade II listed Gilbey House, originally a gin distillery, into 75 apartments with views over the Regent's Canal. It has a dramatic central courtyard stretching a full six storeys from the first floor to the open air. It has private underground parking and a leisure centre. Prices range from pounds 99,000 to pounds 510,000.

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