Many of us dream about living beside the seaside and Margate seems to be the word on everyone’s lips at the moment. It has become a beacon for Londoners, and according to the Mail Online (July 2016) it is known locally as 'Shoreditch-on-Sea' following the recent multi-million pound regeneration. In 2012 Margate was the beneficiary of a Portas Pilot Scheme award, aimed at regenerating some of Britain's run-down High Streets.
It is a town of just over 40,000 souls, built on chalk cliffs in the district of Thanet. It has been a leading seaside resort for over 250 years, attracting working class London holidaymakers with its sandy beaches and easy access by train. The fastest train from St Pancras International to Margate takes just 1 hour 27 minutes, with the less expensive route from London Victoria taking 1 hour 46 minutes.
It was also one of the seaside destinations of choice for the famous mods and rockers confrontations in the 1960s. Not so good for the holiday trade!
The painter JMW Turner first visited Margate in around 1786 and produced a series of drawings of the town and surrounding area foreshadowing his later work. Turner returned to Margate many times in later life. He described the skies above Thanet as ‘the loveliest in Europe’. Margate celebrates the painter’s links with the town via the Turner Contemporary gallery, built adjacent to the harbour wall. Tracey Emin, who was brought up in Margate, supported the building of the gallery.
Margate is home to Dreamland, the seaside funfair, which closed in 2006 but, after a massive revamp, reopened in 2015. The Dreamland rollercoaster is Grade II listed, and dates from the 1920s. It has been restored after being badly damaged by fire in 2008. It is one of only two remaining early twentieth century rollercoasters in the UK; the other is in Great Yarmouth.
Sadly Margate’s Victorian pier did not survive a storm in 1978.
Near Turner Contemporary is Margate Old Town, a treasure trove of independent shops clustered around the Old Town Hall and Market Place.
According to Rightmove, the majority of sales in Margate during the last year were terraced properties, selling for an average price of £200,806. Flats sold for an average of £122,133, with semi-detached properties fetching £244,486.
Margate, with an overall average price of £206,207 was more expensive than nearby Cliftonville (£191,170), but was cheaper than Broadstairs (£289,279) and Westgate-On-Sea (£221,615).
Overall sold prices in Margate over the last year were 13% up on the previous year and 25% up on the 2007 level of £165,287.
The former Nurses Residence at the Royal Seabathing Hospital is being converted into unique apartments, just 50 yards from the seafront. Prices start at £175,000 for a 2-bedroom apartment, and £315,000 for a 3-bedroom apartment.
There is a development of large, luxury townhouses of 3-4 bedrooms in Marine Terrace, starting from £375,000.
If you are looking for an investment opportunity, I Am the Agent, the UK’s No 1 online estate agent, is currently marketing a 4-bedroom Victorian terrace house, in a sought- after location close to Dreamland, the railway station and seafront – see more.
Average monthly rental prices are £519 for 1-bedroom properties, £663 for 2-bedroom properties and £903 for 3-bedroom properties.
The local authority is Thanet District Council, a UKIP controlled borough. The Band D council tax for 2017/2018 is £1,584.50.