ELLIE O’DONNELL reports a drop in the number of retirees moving to Spain and discovers Dorset is proving a attractive alternative

High London house prices and worries about the effects of Brexit has made people more cautious about retiring abroad.

Before the referendum retirees may have been more likely to consider purchasing properties in Spain. However, since the vote there has been a drop in the number of Spanish properties being bought by UK buyers.

In fact, according to Spain’s property registry Britons made up 14.5 per cent of Spanish property purchases bought by foreigners in the first quarter of 2017, a record low proportion since data began to be collected by the registry in 2006 compared to the record high of 38 per cent in 2008.

The registry report suggests that Brexit is having a ‘notable’ effect on UK buyers, which it puts down to fears about future access to healthcare, benefits within the EU and the fall in value of the pound.

Kitchen in a Woodlands apartment

There are two new developments in Dorset attracting retirees; Woodlands; an apartment development from luxury retirement provider PegasusLife and Crosstrees, a non-age specific apartment being marketed by Shape Real Estate, which has seen a rise in interest from retirees and people hoping to retire in the next few years.

Dorset has become an attractive alternative because of its competitive housing prices compared to the capital argues Shape which has offices all over the UK.

The average Dorset house price in May 2017 was £287,521, compared to the average prices in London of £481,345 and Hampshire of £307,014.

Commenting on the increasing interest in properties in Dorset, Riccardo Dawson, Head of Marketing for Shape Real Estate says,“Dorset has charmed new retirees who are aiming to live life to the full. People who may have imagined the Costa del Sol for retirement are now choosing the South of England.”

Set adjacent to Parkstone Golf Course, and between Bournemouth and Poole, buyers of Crosstrees apartments enjoy the spectacular setting and vibrant village life of Canford Cliffs near fashionable Sandbanks.

Apartments in three-storey buildings with lifts serving all floors, are open-plan and include:

Crosstrees development in Canford Cliffs, Dorset

– Private balcony or terrace with landscape views

– Allocated off road parking

– Fully integrated appliances

– High quality ceramic and quartz finishes in the bathrooms

Paul and Deborah Harding moved to Crosstrees in April, looking to escape life in London. Both work long hours in high pressure jobs. Paul is a corporate lawyer in London and Deborah is a senior theatre nurse in Surrey.

The couple are now in their early 60s and looking to downsize their work lives and upsize their leisure time into retirement, and now divide their time between London and Dorset.

Keen to live life to the fullest, Crosstrees, due for completion in 2018, was the perfect choice. The Poole location offers a range of leisure activities including golf courses, top class restaurants and good walks. For their children and grandchildren, water sports and family-friendly beaches were a big attraction.

Paul says, “I started to step back at work 2-3 years ago, and we were looking for a base on the South Coast away from the urban grind. But retirement doesn’t happen overnight, and we’re keen to get the best of both worlds. The classy restaurants and very nice beaches here allow us to do that. I’ll also be picking up the golf clubs again soon!”

Dorset’s proximity to the southwest and easy access to London was also a huge draw too. Paul’s mother lives in Weymouth, Deborah’s parents near Exeter, and they have friends in the area.

Paul said, “This is the place we wanted to be. We love coming down here and we have a lot of fun. Our new home is the perfect combination of location and lifestyle.”

Interior of a Woodlands apartment near fashionable Sandbanks

PegasusLife’s high-end retirement development Woodlands is also situated in Dorset’s scenic Canford Cliffs.

The 17 two-bed apartments are exclusively for the over 60s. Communal facilities include a farm-shop stocking local produce and artisanal goods and a comfortable lounge area with  honesty bar.

Other facilities include a car park, garden and guest room that can booked by residents.

Prices at Crosstrees range from £450,000-£1,895,000. For more information: visit crosstrees.com

Prices at Woodlands start at £699,950. For more information: visit PegasusLife

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