The sensitive redevelopment of the former Alexandra Hotel into luxurious apartments has been a most welcome addition to Hornsea. The property, which began life as a grand Victorian hotel, had lost its roof to fire and become a loss-making and dilapidated, flat-top pub when Foxglove Homes sought permission to demolish it.
Risen from the rubble is a smart, period-style building with nine flats topped with a swish penthouse and the newly-christened Alexandra House has become a magnet from buyers happy to pay from £160,000 to £395,000 for a home. It is a full circle for the site whose history reflects the wax and wane of interest in holidaying and living by the Yorkshire coast.
At the moment, estate agents in towns by the sea are working at full pelt to cope with sales and an influx of would-be buyers keen to make a life-changing move or buy a holiday property.
While the hottest spots are around Whitby and Scarborough, Foxglove Homes director Tom Young describes Hornsea as a “hidden gem” that is now being rediscovered by a new legion of buyers.
He says: “Hornsea doesn’t have the same road and rail links that better known towns on the coast have so it hasn’t been on buyers’ radar in the same way but it has so much going for it. It has a real community feel, fantastic year-round amenities, beautiful beaches and Hornsea mere, the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire. We could see there was an undersupply of modern apartments here and there is no doubt that we have fulfilled a need. They are proving really popular.”
The properties are selling well with a 50/50 split between local people and from outsiders who want to relocate or want a holiday home. Lockdown has seen people from outside the area looking at all property types, from two-bedroom terraces to bungalows and detached houses.
Estate agent Debbie Fox of Quick and Clarke’s Hornsea branch, which is marketing Alexandra House, says: “We have always had people from the West Riding who holiday here, moving here to retire but over the last couple of years they have come from much further afield. We have seen people from Oxford, Kent and Essex who had never visited before, coming here because the prices offer such good value and it is a fantastic place to live.
“In the last year we have also seen a growing interest from developers and from families and those who can now work from home are also looking to buy. We are incredibly busy and just about everything in Hornsea is selling really quickly.”
Relatively low property prices, the beach, a very low crime rate, a great community and good amenities are all part of the allure. Prices start from £100,000 for a two-bedroom terraced house with detached houses from £190,000.
Amenities in Hornsea include a large Tesco, a leisure centre, a golf club, museum, good schools and independent shops and cafes. Beverley and Hull are both a half hour drive away.
Lisa Lancaster of Our House estate agency says: “The market here is the busiest I have seen it inyears. It is incredible and prices are rising. The amount of holiday lets we are selling is through the roof, while 12 years ago we sold hardly any. What they all want is somewhere by the sea with a community feel and that is what Hornsea has got. It is fantastic, very family oriented and definitely not frenetic.”
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