Boom time for Weymouth, according to Dorset Echo

Olympic house boom hits Weymouth and Portland as property prices rise
11:00am Tuesday 6th November 2012
AN OLYMPIC housing boom has hit Weymouth and Portland with property prices bucking the national trend and rising by two per cent.

The area is basking in the Olympic effect as estate agents say that potential buyers are now looking ‘more seriously’ at the area.

They said that Games has caused a ‘noticeable increase’ in the number of people looking to buy property in the borough.

The Games boom effect has helped the borough buck the national trend of falling house prices.

Nationally, the typical house price fell to £159,486 in September, according to the Halifax.

This represents a 1.2 per cent fall on a year ago and a 0.4 per cent drop month-on-month, the bank’s figures showed.

House prices in Dorchester followed this trend with prices falling by two per cent in a year.

The average house price in Dorchester is now £230,879, falling from £235,250 at this time last year.

House prices have risen 44 per cent over the last decade with the average house price in the county town in 2002 at £160,721.

But in Weymouth the average house price has risen by two per cent from £185,774 at this time last year to £189,585.

Estate agent Polly Greenway, managing director of Domvs, said: “I think the Olympics has seen a noticeable increase in the number of people starting to look more seriously at the area and it would have put it on their radar.

“The profile has increased and that will only help.

“There has definitely been an Olympic effect.

“We have had a lot of telephone calls from people who saw Weymouth on the television during the games and are now expressing an interest in living here.”

She added that compared to other areas of the UK, Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester had a fairly stable market.

She said: “There’s not a noticeable difference between Weymouth and Dorchester with regards to prices going up and down.

“Where Weymouth does have the advantage is that those properties that have a sea view have a premium.

“People are looking at second homes in fewer volumes than they were.”

Jon Summers, manager of Symonds and Sampson in Dorchester, said that the Games had made a difference to discerning buyers.

“The Olympics has put Weymouth on the map and it would seem as though property buyers have recognised the value of the area.

“The Weymouth market is attractive in what is a difficult financial climate.

“People are seeing more value for money in terms of floor space than they are in the county town.”

But the real effect of the Games will take longer to truly determine, estate agent Tony Foot said.

Mr Foot, of Savills, in Dorchester, said: “It takes about six to eight weeks between a sale being completed and agreed so the figures for September don’t show the proper effect of the Olympics.

“But I think the difference is the Olympics.

“The markets are so close, the only difference between Dorchester and Weymouth apart from being different towns is the Olympics and that house prices are generally higher in Dorchester.

“People in Weymouth are probably going to sell their house prices well because of the Olympics and they’re going to gain from the feel good factor.

“There were lots of images on television.”

Olympia Heights

DEMAND for a development of 41 apartments along Greenhill has been increased by people who are eager to own a property looking out on to the Olympic sailing waters.

Olympia Heights was opened by windsurfing silver medallist Nick Dempsey.

Five of the apartments have sold and a further three sales are going through.

Of the eight, four are second homes bought by people from outside the area and four are permanent apartments bought by people from in and around the Weymouth area.

The Games appears to have attracted interest in the apartments, with one person a minute looking at the show apartments when they were opened to the public for the first time earlier this month.

Prices for apartments in the development started at £180,000. Penthouses started at £475,000.

The property’s agents are Domvs.

Polly Greenaway, of Domvs, said: “I am confident that Olympia Heights – with fantastic views over the waters where the Olympic action took place – will become the premium address along Dorset’s coastline.”

DOMVS: 7th Nov 2012 14:39:00