With vibrant culture, great food & drink, and the sea & South Downs on the doorstep, Brighton & Hove have always been very popular places to move to from London. With no realistic fall in London property prices on the horizon, that’s not going to change any time soon.
In many ways, Brighton & Hove are the perfect places for London escapees:
- While property prices are still high, you get more for your money than in London. Like a sea view.
- This is no tired sea-side town: The city is vibrant and varied, full of creative cosmopolitan people and with a strong green streak politically.
- It’s easy to spend time outdoors – whether that’s cycling in the South Downs, Wild swimming, beach volleyball, or just enjoying the fact that everywhere you want to go of a weekend is within walking distance.
- Easy access to the capital – useful both for work and for summoning London friends down to bask in the sun with you.
The same, but different
Properties in the sea-side metropolis have a lot in common with those in London. The joys (gorgeous original features inside & out) and problems (damp basements & narrow hallways) of the Regency, Victorian & Edwardian terraces will be familiar to many Londoners. There are a few key differences;
Something of a luxury in London, high ceilings are more commonplace in Brighton. Paired with almost full height, south facing windows, these make for some spectacular, light rooms with lovely views. Before you fall in love with a Kemptown terrace in the middle of the East Cliff conservation area, consider how you will keep it warm in winter and cool in summer. You may need to consider secondary glazing (or at least really effective window treatments), upgrading insulation, and natural cooling methods.
Salt, wind and sunshine damage exterior finishes rapidly – and that can stop your home from being weatherproof. Be sure to specify external fixtures and finishes as being suitable for coastal use, and budget for a regular re-paint of your external woodwork. You’ll also have to rethink your garden or balcony planting schemes… but think of this as an opportunity, not a problem.
While by no means a cheap place to buy property, you will get a little more space for your money in Brighton than in London… and you are going to need it. The outdoor lifestyle here is hard to resist – and most of it comes with ‘kit’. If your hallway is already full of road bikes, expect to soon be trying to find a home for all sorts of windsurfing/ paddleboarding/ sailing gear and a couple of mountain bikes. Oh, and neoprene. There is nothing like damp neoprene dripping in your bathtub to double your desire for a utility/ boot/ drying room.
Walk into a pub in Brighton in the winter, and you may be met with the welcoming smell of wood-smoke. Outside the Smoke Control Areas, you are permitted to have a ‘real’ fire in Brighton. For advice on opening up a fireplace, read our guide.