There is a wind of change blowing over the south coast. After decades of being the default destination of choice for the over 60s, Bournemouth is finding it is not the only coastal town that retirees are flocking to in large numbers.
Instead, retirees looking to settle down in prime coastal locations are getting no further west than Southampton. In fact, the latest figures from UK retirement property sales expert Retirement Homesearch (RHS) show that its sales of retirement properties in Bournemouth were only 12.5% higher than in its Hampshire rival.
Figures from 10 years ago show RHS sold over 100% more properties in Bournemouth than in Southampton. If the trend continues, Southampton should overtake Bournemouth as the number one retirement destination by the end of 2012.
The attraction of fresh sea air and sea views at a fraction of a cost compared to Bournemouth has led retirees like Ivor Wathan and his wife to the city. Ivor, 79, used RHS to find a property in the area, and now he and his wife are proud owners of a flat at Peverel Retirement development, Heathlands Court – a development that caters for those who are looking to live independently and enjoy their retirement near the coast.
Originally from Rhondda, Wales, Ivor and his wife Lorraine moved to Hythe 50 years ago but have now decided to embark on a new life in Southampton. Having owned his own estate agency, Ivor knew exactly what he was looking for in a retirement property.
“Our home was becoming too big to maintain so we knew it was time to buy something a bit smaller. I have 22 years experience in property so when I came across Heathlands Court, I knew it was perfect.”
“Heathlands Court has a great community spirit and the house manager is lovely,” he adds. “The development is next to the doctor’s surgery and moments away from the bus stop – and there’s a lovely pub opposite. My wife and I cannot wait to move in!”
So if you’re thinking of retiring to the south coast, remember Bournemouth isn’t your only option.