The beach, vibrant nightlife and fabulous Regency architecture means Brighton offers an enviable lifestyle.
Brighton has its much-loved beach, independent shops, quirky restaurants and nightlife, some fabulous Regency architecture, a cool vibe, and train route straight into - and out of - the capital.
Little wonder then that 91% of residents of this south coast city (Brighton and Hove was granted city status in 2001) according to a YouGov poll are proud of where they live.
If you're interested in joining the contented locals, this guide is here to help. You'll find average prices on all types of homes for buyers and renters, expert insight from locals, and our pick of what's currently available for first-time buyers, families, those looking to rent and even property with the biggest discounts. So, let's get started...
Firstly, where is Brighton?
East Sussex, neatly sandwiched between the South Downs and the English Channel.
How much will it cost me?
For buyers, the current average asking price is £421,197. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in Brighton over the past 12 months, the average sale price, the current average value based on Zoopla's data and how values are on the rise.
What about renters?
Renters will need to budget around £1,355 a month for a two bedroom flat or £2,272 a month for a four bedroom house. Prices are boosted by Brighton's desirability and proximity to London, with commuter trains taking around an hour.
What the experts say...
Brighton is a vibrant little city with a well-earned reputation for its fantastic lifestyle - not just the great facilities but its laid back, bohemian vibe.
It shows off its best during the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe - the largest outside Edinburgh - that run from May to June and bring a diverse programme of live music, comedy, and theatre.
The young - and young at heart - are drawn to the heart of the city, Kemptown, the fun, cosmopolitan and vibrant gay capital of the city, with fantastic bars, clubs, shops and restaurants and an urban village vibe.
Bohemian shopping in Brighton's North Laine
Neil Sutherland, owner of Neil Sutherland Estate and Lettings Agents says that as well as its amenities, people flock to Brighton for its ethos.
“It does not judge and you can be who you want to be without people looking down on you,” he says. “We have actors, artists, business suits, a massive student population and everyone just gets on with it, which is great.”
For families, the steadier pace of life in Hove tends to be more appealing, and Drew Bailey, branch manager at Fox & Sons said it has prime areas for different budgets.
Young families look to two to three bedroom terrace in the Poet’s Corner area. Those with more to spend look at the 1930s semis around Newchurch Road, while the top address is Hove Park, where prices can rise to £2m.
“Hove is not as busy as Brighton,” Bailey says. “It is very family friendly. There are good schools and parks and it has a station for getting to London.”
Brighton’s pebbly beach is hard on your feet and gets unfeasibly crowded on hot days. Traffic can be congested, and homes close to the sea will need repainting regularly, so bear in mind maintenance costs. Its West Pier was also destroyed in an arson attack in 2003 and you can follow efforts to restore it by the West Pier Trust here.
Commuting into London
There is a regular service and as of January 11, 2019, a Brighton to London City Thameslink annual pass would cost £4,092.
Brighton currently has 11 Ofsted 'Outstanding' rated schools within a 10 miles of the city.The Outstanding secondary schools are Downs View Special School, Hill Park School (also primary) and Shoreham Academy.
The Outstanding primary schools are St Luke's Primary, Downs Infants School, Downs Junior School, Stanford Infant School, Hertford Infant and Nursery School, West Hove Infant School, Downs View Special School, Patcham Infant School and Eastbrook Primary Academy.
You can compare school and college performance on the Government website here.
The gorgeously bonkers Royal Pavilion, an exotic palace built for the decadent King George IV is worth a visit. You'll b afforded a bird's eye view from the British Airways i360 observation tower, and Brighton Palace Pier and Brighton Marina add an extra bit of British seaside fun.
Brighton’s first wave of tourists visited the town in the 18th century in the belief that bathing in and drinking its sea waters would be good for their health.
A flock of starlings put on an acrobatics display over Brighton's West Pier
Where to eat, drink and make merry
A book could be written on this topic, but highlights include alfresco tea and cake at the Pavilion Gardens Cafe, fish and chips at the Regency Restaurant, or a Frenchified dinner at the Bistro at Hotel du Vin. Brighton is awash with great pubs like the Ginger Dog or cocktail bars such as The Plotting Parlour.
All the main chains are represented in the town centre, while North Laine is a gorgeous warren of cobbled streets lined with boutiques. There are some great vintage and antique shops in Kemptown too.
Pink Floyd’s first live performance of Dark Side of the Moon was at the Brighton Dome in 1972.
What's for sale...
... for the first-time buyer?
This fourth floor flat boasts sea views and is just a short stroll away from the shops and restaurants on St. James street. While you could move straight in, it could also do with some light refurbishment, so you may be able to add value.
Available via Hamptons.
... for the family?
You’ll find this immaculate Victorian home close to Queens Park and a selection of ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ rated schools by Ofsted. It’s spread out over three floors, with the ground floor dedicated to two reception rooms and a modern kitchen that opens on to a child-friendly garden.
Available via Paul Bott and Company
... for renters?
If you’re looking to live within easy reach of Brighton train station and a variety of independent bars, restaurants and shops, this flat should fit the bill. It comes unfurnished and offers period features include sash windows, heigh ceilings and an ornate fireplace.
Available via Paul Bott and Company
... with the biggest discount?
Originally on the market for £690,000, this beachfront apartment in Rottingdean has seen its asking price slashed by £290,000. Its next owner will be able to enjoy the far-reaching sea views from the private balcony and make use of an allocated parking space.
Available via Fox & Sons
The most popular Brighton property currently for sale is...
Standing out from Brighton’s typical Victorian and Georgian terraces is this contemporary detached house. It’s perfectly positioned between the South Downs and the city and boasts open plan living, four double bedrooms and a landscaped garden.
Available via Jack Taggart and Co
The most expensive streets to buy...