Home buyer searches in Morecambe surge as ITV drama The Bay sparks interest
Searches for homes to buy in Morecambe have surged by 71% in the space of a week, according to a property website.
Rightmove, which released the figures, suggested viewers of ITV police drama The Bay, which recently started a new series, have been browsing to see what was for sale in the town where the show is set and filmed.
Searches for properties listed for sale in the Lancashire seaside town jumped by 71% between January 18 and 24, compared with the seven days before.
Rightmove said Morecambe recorded a bigger seven-day increase in searches than anywhere else in Britain.
Searches for homes to rent in Morecambe were also up 22% over the same period.
With its revamped promenade and stone jetty and its Eric Morecambe statue overlooking the bay, Morecambe seafront also boasts an art deco hotel, The Midland.
The hotel has also been used as a location in the past for another popular ITV show – Poirot.
The average asking price of a home in Morecambe is £151,607, which is 6.4% more than a year ago.
Renting in Morecambe typically costs £612 per month.
Laura Fort, a sales negotiator at Ibay Homes in Morecambe, said: “The Bay has certainly put Morecambe on the map in recent weeks…
“However, there’s lots more to Morecambe than what you see on the show. Eden Project North is a massive attraction that’s coming to the town and will create loads of jobs and really boost the local economy.
“We’re already seeing lots of people moving here from Manchester and London; probably because you can get a real bargain and buy a four-bed house for about £150,000.
“The RLI (Royal Lancaster Infirmary) hospital is also nearby so we get consultants and doctors looking for property in the town. There’s also Lancaster and Cumbria universities, and two power stations, that attract a lot of people to the area.
“There are lots of regeneration plans in the pipeline for Morecambe so it’s quite an up-and-coming place. The landscape is beautiful, too, and you’re never far from the seafront.”
Morecambe is not the only seaside location to have experienced a spike in interest, with parts of Devon and Cornwall also seeing a jump as people re-evaluate their lifestyles.
Andrew McKnight, managing director of MAP estate agents in Cornwall, said: “I was born in London and moved down here in my teens and I’ve never gone back. There are so many things that you can do down here that are hard to find elsewhere.”
He added: “Whenever I turn on the TV there is a programme about Cornwall. Whether it be a fishing show or a cooking show, or Poldark, there is national interest in the county and TV companies wouldn’t be making these shows if people weren’t interested in the way of life down here.”
Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “People are watching TV shows such as The Bay and then scrolling through Rightmove on their devices to see what’s available, and that’s why we’ve seen such a big spike in interest for property in Morecambe.
“The same is true of Devon and Cornwall. There’s a number of Cornwall-focused lifestyle shows on TV at the moment and it’s hard not to get swept away dreaming about a life in the South West. We already know that rural and seaside areas are rising in popularity, so it’s a trend that bodes well for sellers in these locations.”
Here are the top 10 locations with the biggest weekly percentage increases in buyer searches, according to Rightmove:
1. Morecambe, Lancashire, 71%
2. Looe, Cornwall, 59%
3. Ilfracombe, Devon, 43%
4. Saxmundham, Suffolk, 34%
5. Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, 32%
6. Motherwell, Lanarkshire, 24%
7. Callington, Cornwall, 23%
8. Prudhoe, Northumberland, 22%
9. Camborne, Cornwall, 21%
10. Newquay, Cornwall, 20%