The lure of the sea has always been strong for many people, either pulling them to the coast for a holiday or tempting those living inland to pack up the bucket and space and head for a sandy shore permanently.
Arguably the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed more people to consider that change of lifestyle, acting on their dream of being minutes from a bracing walk on a beach or a stroll to a rocky clifftop to watch the sunset.
And this has, of course, had a noticeable effect on the housing market, with more people looking for holiday lets and second homes too, as well as those wanting to move to the coast as their forever home.
The latest research by property portal Rightmove focuses on coastal locations - where in the UK are the most popular seaside spots people are searching for and buying?
And when it comes to the top 10 asking price hotspots in 2021, the Welsh Victorian seaside town Porthcawl in Bridgend County takes fourth place in the UK - and the top spot in Wales - with a 14% increase in average asking price from £270,505 in 2020 to £307,051 in the last 12 months.
The locations listed above Porthcawl in the UK list were Padstow in Cornwall, Whitby in North Yorkshire, and St Ives in Cornwall.
Also Pwllheli in Gwynedd has come in at seventh spot on this top ten list, with a 13% year-on-year increase in the average asking price from £197,213 to £222,607.
Coastal average asking price hotspots 2021
1. Padstow, Cornwall: 20% increase
2. Whitby, North Yorkshire: 17%
3. St Ives, Cornwall: 15%
4. Porthcawl, Bridgend: 14%
5. Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire: 13%
6. Newquay, Cornwall: 13%
7. Filey, North Yorkshire: 13%
8. Pwllheli, Gwynedd: 13%
9. Brixham, Devon: 12%
10. Preston, Paignton, Devon: 12%
Maybe as a way of gauging the next coastal hotspots to look out for, Rightmove also looked at the coastal locations that have seen the biggest increase in user searches on their website.
This UK top ten includes Swansea, Llandudno and Saundersfoot as the Welsh places with the most increases in search traffic.
Swansea is at number four with a 15% increase, Llandudno at number seven with a 13% rise and Saundersfoot has seen a 12% uplift in location search on Rightmove.
Increase in coastal searches on Rightmove 2020 to 2021
1. Morecambe, Lancashire: 32% increase
2. Blackpool, Lancashire: 21%
3. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk: 15%
4. Swansea: 15%
5. Saltburn-By-The-Sea, Cleveland: 15%
6. Southampton, Hampshire: 14%
7. Llandudno, Conwy: 13%
8. Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire: 12%
9. Southport, Merseyside: 12%
10. Scarborough, North Yorkshire: 12%
Each of Rightmove's coastal locations in Wales have a range of lovely properties for sale in a range of prices, from one-bed flats to huge detached homes.
Here's the type of property you can get in each coastal location included in Rightmove's findings - and they range from a contemporary dream home to a pretty cottage around the corner from the beach.
All properties were on the market at the time this article was written.
With little change from £1m, you can secure a six-bed contemporary abode near the sea in arguably one of the poshest areas in and around this popular town, named the UK's fourth hottest spot for potential coastal living.
Nottage is on the outskirts of Porthcawl and can boast a variety of period properties at its village centre and large, executive homes on the roads meandering out of the area.
This large home on a corner plot on a quiet cul-de-sac has three floors of loveliness that includes a substantial rear kitchen diner and family room.
This sociable space spans almost the whole width of the house and has multiple instances of seamless and direct access to the garden.
Upstairs the landing has a most attractive double-height vaulted ceiling and Juliet balcony next to a bonus seating area.
There are two floors of six bedrooms, with the master boasting a dressing room, ensuite and Juliet balcony.
But it's outside that can really add extra temptation to a potential buyer, especially if they like to party.
The garden has a bar and a separate BBQ lodge adding extra special spots for the party to spill out from the house.
The party pad in Porthcawl is on the market for £980,000 with estate agent eXp UK, Wales, call them on 01656 817618 to find out more.
Cottages are many people's idea of a charming dream home - bursting with character even if sometimes not bursting with oodles of space.
This pretty white-washed cutie is nestled within a charming terrace and has so much to offer, not least walking distance to the beach and town, plus a sun-drenched garden with seating area.
At the front there are views across the wide river basin to the coast and at the back the outlook is a grassy hillside in one direction and the sea on the horizon in the other direction.
Inside the cottage has a lounge diner with exposed stone chimney and log burner and a rear kitchen that leads to the back garden.
Upstairs there are two bedrooms and a shower room, but on a good weather day it's certainly the front terrace that is calling you - 'come and eat all your meals and relax on your sunny terrace' it whispers and why would you want to ignore it?
The cottage is for sale for offers in the region of £160,000 with Beresford Adams, call the Pwllheli branch on 01758 580135 for more details.
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It might be a sprawling city, but some people who may have never been to Swansea or looked it up on a map might not be fully aware that it sits on the edge of the expansive Swansea Bay, which sweeps around to Mumbles and Gower peninsula.
This four-bed home looks smart and modern from the front, and inside it can offer three reception tooms, one of which flows into a lovely large kitchen.
There's a bathroom on the ground floor and three double bedrooms and an ensuite on the first floor, but its the home's location that makes the rear of the property the show-stopping feature.
On the ground floor there's an open-plan lounge and dining room that has a duo of large bay windows and a set of French doors that optimises the connection to the garden and the sea view at the end of it.
You will feel compelled to wander out into the garden, which almost feels like stepping into an idyllic tropical paradise, packed with palm trees and colourful shrubs.
Upstairs isn't left out of the garden and coastal connection though, in fact, it probably can boast the best spot at the property - a balcony off the landing that offers sweeping views of Swansea below and the sea beyond.
The house with the best balcony on the street is on the market for £420,000, call Belvoir at their Swansea office on 01792 461929 to find out more.
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It only takes two minutes to walk out of the front door to the sea front from this substantial detached house in Llandudno.
The period property, reputedly the first home to have been built on this seaside street, is nestled within its tree-lined location and as well as the sand at the end of the road, has the Great Orme as its unique and impressive backdrop at the end of the garden.
Called Fair Oak, the three-storey house offers a huge amount of space including a kitchen diner that runs the width of the house at the back.
There are two spacious reception rooms at the front of the house, plus a utility room and cloakroom, before the stairs take you to the impressive master suite that again, dominates the back section of the home with a bonus dressing room and ensuite.
The loft has been converted to offer a generous fourth bedroom that has its own ensuite shower room, so no staggering down the stairs in the middle of the night to 'spend a penny' required.
The interior design of this home has been given a a modern update and it is currently vacant, so once bought all you have to do is turn up with your stuff and settle into your new life by the sea.
The house is on the market for £625,000 with Coast & Marina Properties, call the Deganwy branch on 01492 593000 to find out more.
One of the most popular coastal towns in Pembrokeshire, Saundersfoot can offer some pretty cottage-lined streets winding down to the beach that would be a joy to call home.
This beauty is a three-bed cottage with character inside and a pretty garden outside, and a stroll to the seaside just around the corner.
The cottage has been subject to a programme of renovation that has kept the charm of the property but added modern convenience.
There are exposed beams, white-washed tactile stone walls, and a pretty garden with sea views and a summerhouse to instantly notice, joined by a balcony in the main bedroom and a bespoke kitchen.
The dining area in particular is a lovely spot, with doors out onto the garden and also the remains of an original blacksmith's forge exposed and lit within a section of the stone wall.
The integrated garage is handy for the car in this smaller street, but a new owner may want to investigate converting it into a fourth bedroom or home office if required.
The cottage by the coast is for sale for offers in excess of £525,000 with John Francis Tenby, call 01834 740051 to find out more.
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Source : https://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/welsh-homes/most-popular-welsh-coastal-hotspots-223531995384