As Bridlington celebrates its starring role in the new Dad’s Army film, estate agents in the town report news of a friendly invasion.
Buyers from London and the south have started to target Brid after acting on good intelligence about its property prices and its coastal splendour.
Estate agent Nicholas Belt says: “The property market is going crazy and we have had a massive number of sales recently so there is now a shortage of supply.”
Recent figures from the Halifax bear this out. They show that Bridlington was among the country’s top property hotspots last year. The number of sales there increased by 18 per cent between 2014 and 2015. Mr Belt says the rapid rise is partly due to an influx of buyers from the south.
“We have always had demand from West Yorkshire but now we are seeing people relocating from London and the South East.
“It’s not just those who want to retire her: we are getting people of all ages, including families, looking for a better quality of life.”
Vicki Slack, of the Harris Bell agency, agrees: “We are really busy and we’ve had buyers from London, Kent and Oxford recently. They have been amazed at how beautiful this area is and how affordable property is here.”
Dad’s Army, which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and Toby Jones, is expected to fuel even more interest in the town. The movie is set to be a box office hit and, although it has had mixed reviews, the critics have raved about the scenery.
The film shows Brid at its best. The splendid sandy beach, the views over to Flamborough and the Georgian old town all feature.
“A lot of visitors who come here don’t even realise we have an old town because it is a mile-and-a-half from the seafront and yet it is the best preserved Georgian high street in Britain, It equals the best in York,” says Mr Belt.
Prices for the period homes in the old town are about a quarter of those in York and some now have a Dad’s Army claim to fame.n A grade two listed historic townhouse on Westgate “played” the Walmington-on-Sea chemist shop in the movie and is for sale at £165,950 with Belt’s. The décor is picture perfect and it has a courtyard garden.
Prices in Bridlington start at £50,000 for a two-bedroom flat, while semi-detached properties start at just under £100,000. Bungalows cost from about £90,000. There are a number of guest houses and holiday lets on the market and they come with tempting prices for those looking for a lifestyle change. Reeds Rains has a block of six holiday apartments up for auction with a guide price of £79,950. Rivendell, a popular guest house with six letting rooms and a separate owner’s bungalow, is 100 yards from the beach and is for sale at £349,950 with Harris Bell.
Those who buy could enjoy rising prices, according to Nicholas Belt. He says that prices rose five per cent last year but lack of supply, better amenities and signs of gentrification could push values up further this year.The town now has a couple of boutique B&Bs, a Premier Inn is due to be built and a new leisure centre opens in July. A marina is a step closer to becoming a reality after the council and the Harbour Commissioners agreed to work together on the scheme.
After so long in the shadow of fashionable Whitby and busy Scarborough, the feeling is that this year is Bridlington’s time to shine.