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Head to the Seaside: 2021 set to give a much needed boost to British coastal towns

Pandemic city exodus will bring long-term economic activity to compliment uplift from staycations.

David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax, discusses how the Pandemic will give a boost to seaside destinations.

2021 is likely to see a major boost for UK coastal regions. As people book holidays within British shores thanks to travel restrictions, and people search out more living space closer to nature thanks to flexible working conditions, there will be a greater footfall on the sandy streets of coastal towns. This will be welcome news for these communities, and will likely aid the Government’s ‘Levelling-up’ agenda, as more pounds head to these highstreets; whether from staycationers or people who have just moved in.

A first-of-its-kind study from property specialists Cornerstone Tax revealed that 44% of Brits now find living in urban areas less appealing, and in the past year, over 3.3 million have moved away from a city or urban area. Many of these people want more living space closer to nature, resulting in Britain’s seaside destinations experiencing skyrocketing property enquiries and prices. According to Rightmove, six of the top 10 most searched-for areas last month were in Cornwall and Devon.

Although Britain is starting to ease the Lockdowns and there is now a permitted travel list, most peoples’ summer holidays will still likely be staycations within British shores due to the price and lack of availability of foreign travel options. According to holidaycottages.co.uk, 4 in 5 Brits (84%) are planning a staycation this year. This will bring a much-needed boost to UK seaside destinations, many of which have lacked tourism and investment, and therefore development, for many years.

Key Stats from Cornerstone Tax:

  • In the past year, 10% of Brits have moved away from a city or urban area (3,319,000)
  • 44% of Brits feel that the impact of Coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing (16,468,000)
  • 24% of Brits will no longer commute into a city for their job post-pandemic (4,297,000)

David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Taxdiscusses how the Pandemic may well boost long-forgotten holiday destinations and coastal regions:

“The findings from our report confirm what we have thought for much of the past 12 months, that living in a city has undergone a permanent shift in appeal. The clients we have advised during the pandemic have almost exclusively been looking for more space, both inside and outside the property. Many too are looking for greener and more natural spaces, either in rural areas or within Britain’s coastal regions. 

It is a trend that we see increasing in the future as it becomes more normal to work away from cities without the need to be in a ‘commuter belt’ which will either cease to exist or expand dramatically. The fact that a quarter of workers are already planning to stop commuting shows the effect is here to stay.

The reality that holidays to foreign shores may not be a possibility for many has also meant many are looking to travel within the UK. This means a greater footfall to these coastal regions, and will bring a welcomed short-term economic boost to compliment the long-term new economic activity as more spenders and savers move  there for good.”

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