House hunters can expect to pay 32% more for sea view

The Front Strand, Youghal, a Blue Flag Beach where houses will cost that little bit extra.

By Joe Leogue

If you do like to be beside the seaside, be prepared to pay for the privilege.

While news that buying or renting property with a sea view is more expensive will come as little surprise, an analysis of more than 500,000 property listings has established just how much more beach lovers are paying for the benefit.

Research conducted by Trinity College Dublin economist Ronan Lyons on behalf of property website has found that buyers are paying up to 32% more for a property with a sea view.

The analysis involved placing listings on a 3D model of the country to calculate the extent of the sea view enjoyed by the properties, as well as working out how close each property was to beaches, cliffs, and the coast.

It found that homes within a 1km radius of a Blue Flag beach command on average a premium of €6,200, but those within 500m of cliffs are on average €7,000 less expensive than similar properties further away.

“It is not surprising that properties close to the sea or with good sea views are worth more than others,” said Mr Lyons.

But, until now, it was impossible to say systematically how much more properties close to the coast may have been worth.

“The two most valuable blue-space amenities are view depth and proximity to shingle. Both of these add an average of more than €10,000 to the value of properties. In contrast, being close to cliffs has a negative effect on property values. This may reflect the dangers associated with cliff edges or even the risk of erosion.

“The same analysis was carried out on rental listings and the same results emerge: being close to shingle and having a broad or deep view of the coast is reflected in higher rents. Being close to cliffs is associated with lower rents.

The huge size of the dataset — even compared to similar studies in other countries — means that it is possible to drill into the figures in more detail.

“Properties that are within 100m of the coast and which have the widest view of the sea are one-third more expensive than otherwise identical properties but which are more than five kilometres from the coast and which have no view of the sea.

“For properties that are somewhat close to the coast, say between 500 metres and one kilometre, and which have some view of the sea, there is a price premium but it is much more modest: less than 5%.”

Mr Lyons also said that the findings could help urban planning.

Understanding the preferences of housing market consumers means that urban planners can tailor their zoning and development plans accordingly,” he said.

“If a huge premium exists for views, and those views are largest at the coast, then building up at the coast may be the best way to facilitate supply to meet demand. In the century of the city, the sea may be key.”

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