Special report: Where sports stars pay the rent

Sporting events across the UK bring a prime opportunity for homeowners, as demand soars for short term rentals. If our feature exploring the top tournaments for netting a quick return has tempted you to move to a prime sporting location and open your door to the sports stars, here is a guide to what you can expect from the host locations.

property_for_sale_next_to_wimbledon_common Wimbledon, South London
Population: c. 55,000
Average house price: £454,551
Market this year? Up seven per cent

In a nutshell: An affluent suburb with a good range of grand Victorian houses complemented by a few modern homes and low rise apartments. Wimbledon Village is one of the most expensive residential areas in London, as are the dozen or so streets around the Lawn Tennis Association (which is closer to Southfields than Wimbledon). If you’re on a budget then look about a mile east of Centre Court as it is here that prices start to drop off.

Pros: Despite being a suburb of London, it is almost considered a village in its own right and is one of London’s most desirable addresses, offering its famous common to walk in, a golf club, three railway stations, excellent schools and a huge shopping centre, as well as boutique shops and grocers.

Cons: During the championship the area is gridlocked and parking is hard to come by, with many of the parking metres and spaces being taken out of use. And if you want to live on one of the most sought-after streets, then prices, of course, come at a premium.

For sale:
Parkside: Wimbledon Common
A seven-bed period house directly overlooking the common, with wine cellar, heated pool and an 18th century folly (now guest house). On the market for £6.25 million.

Village house: near Wimbledon Village
A six-bed, just-finished new build, with marble floors, a Roman baths-style pool and leisure complex. On the market for £5.85 million.

cowes_isle_of_wight Cowes, Isle of Wight
Population: c.10,000
Average house price: £259,026
Market this year? Up six per cent

In a nutshell: Off the south coast of England, across the Solent and on the northern tip of the Isle of Wight sits Cowes, a seaport town famous for its annual sailing events. The River Medina separates East and West Cowes, which are joined by a chain ferry. The west side is more residential whilst the east is traditionally more industrial. Everything centres around the water: along the front, newly built apartments intermingle with restaurants, coffee bars and a range of shops. The prime area to buy property is along the river, where it is possible to earn enough rent in Cowes Week to cover the cost of the mortgage for a year.

Pros: Cowes is the gateway to the Isle of Wight and with regular fast cat ferries to Southampton you can be in central London within two hours of leaving the island. It is an increasingly popular location for both second and permanent homes, attracting people who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the mainland towns and cities. With its fabulous coastline, sandy beaches and undulating countryside, there is no end of activities to be enjoyed here including walking, riding, paragliding, hang-gliding, sailing, wind surfing and golfing.

Cons: The local economy is financially dependent on the sailing industry, in particularly Cowes Week, which obviously lasts for just one week a year. Whilst you can take your car across the Solent, parking is limited and during Cowes Week, when the population of this small town is doubled, there is an additional strain on the area and its parking resources. During the other 51 weeks of the year Cowes is a fairly quiet town.

For sale:
Regency: Cowes
This eight–bed Regency-style home comes with views over the Solent towards Calshott and the New Forest, and with an artist’s studio (complete with shower) in the garden. On the market for £1.75 million.

Sea views: Cowes
A period stone cottage with three bedrooms and panoramic sea views, dinghy storage, and steps leading directly to the sea. On the market for £1.25 million.

Sandbanks BeachSandbanks, Dorset
Average house price: £911, 803
Market this year? Up 50 per cent

In a nutshell: With what is claimed to be the best beach this side of the Channel, this mile-long peninsula is often considered to be the Monte Carlo of the UK – with property prices to match. It was victim to the recession in 2008/2009, allowing developers to snap up reduced price plots, but as the recent 50 per cent market increase shows, Sandbanks is returning to its former glory and exclusive prices once again.

Pros: An award-winning beach, the world’s second largest natural harbour (after Sydney), sailing club, water sports a plenty, nature reserves, crazy golf and a mini golf course all thrown in with an annual beach polo championship, this is the playground of the wealthy.

Cons: Boasting some of the most expensive properties in the country, unless you have a few million pounds to spare it is unlikely that you will be able to afford even the smallest property on this unique spit that has, by area, the fourth highest land value in the world. Look to neighbouring Poole or Bournemouth to get more for your money whilst still being able to take advantage of the stunning coastline.

For sale:
Solaris: Sandbanks
This five-bed new build comes with private beach access, views of Poole Bay, Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight, a gym, pool and cinema. On the market for £9.75 million.

Private jetty: Sandbanks
On the shores of Poole Harbour, this three-storey five-bed house comes with private jetty and slipway, boat house and beach house. On the market for £4.75 million.

property_for_sale_in_st_andrewsSt Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Population: c.17,000
Average house price: £545,163
Market this year? Up 119 per cent

In a nutshell: Hosting the Open at the world renowned Old Course every five years and with seven other links golf courses in the area, the small town of St Andrews is well known around the world as the home of golf. If you cannot get hold of a property overlooking the course then even being 10 minutes drive or so away can potentially earn you considerable rental income during the tournament.

Pros: As well as golf, St Andrews has a lot to offer for such a small place; beautiful beaches, coves and good walking along the Fife Coastal Path. The town is well known for its excellent university and also has an active sailing club, a leisure centre, unique independent shops and is commuting distance to both Dundee and Edinburgh.

Cons: St Andrews is a small town so there is a limited supply of property and entertainment. Locals rely on the bigger neighbouring areas of Dundee and Edinburgh for more meaningful amenities. The weather is often bracing in this north eastern part of Scotland so thermals and waterproofs will more than likely be needed on the golf courses from October to March.

For sale:
Period mansion: St Andrews
19th century Seggie House sits less than a mile from Leuchars (the local train station for St Andrews), and comes with seven bedrooms, battlement tower and croquet lawn. On the market for £1.75 million.

Landscaped gardens: St Andrews
Enjoying a prime St Andrews location, this six-bed family house mixes period living with a modern finish. On the market for £895,000.

house_for_sale_next_to_the_Royal_Liverpool_golf_Course_Hoylake Hoylake, Liverpool
Population: c.6,000
Average house price: 251,376
Market this year? Up 62 per cent

In a nutshell: A small seaside town on the Wirral Peninsula, several large high-end properties back on to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club that is based here. Enjoying the best of both worlds, it is surrounded by dramatic coastline and countryside yet the buzzing city of Liverpool is just 11 miles away across the River Mersey.

Pros: There are several golf courses, country walks, local shops and restaurants, and good transport links to Liverpool and Chester. The area takes advantage of its coastal location and offers sailing, windsurfing and canoeing as well as sand yachting; indeed the beach was used for the European Sand Yacht Championships in 2007, and could well return to the area again.

Cons: The town is on the small side. Unless you crave constant outdoor space and golf, you might be better off closer to the busier areas of Chester or Liverpool where you will have more amenities on your doorstep, as well as a greater range of properties available.

For sale:
Hilstone Grange: Hoylake
A six-bed art deco home backing on to the 15th tee of the Royal Liverpool Golf Course, and with a private right of way across the course. On the market for £1.95 million.

Beside the seaside: Hoylake
A five-bed house, both on the beach and close to the Royal Liverpool course, that comes complete with bar room, swimming pool and boat storage. On the market for £1.2 million.

    • By Jennifer Warner
      01 July 2010
    With what is claimed to be the best beach this side of the Channel, this mile-long peninsula is often considered to be the Monte Carlo of the UK – with property prices to match.