Everything you need to know about buying a property in Brighton & Hove

By Novello Team on and updated on

Brighton & Hove, often referred to simply as Brighton, sits in a prime position on the East Sussex coast, offering the best features of a seaside resort with the amenities of a city and all within commuting distance of London. This combination of vibrancy and practicality makes Brighton a trendy place to live for those looking to move out of the capital, as well as with young people keen to enjoy all it has to offer.

Why buy in Brighton & Hove?

Although technically one city, the areas of Brighton and Hove still have different feels. Brighton tends to attract a younger population as the more vibrant part of the city, while Hove is seen as more laid back and family-orientated. This variety means Brighton & Hove appeals to many home buyers and those looking for rental properties.

Whichever part of the city you choose, one thing you can be sure of is that you won’t be short of amenities and things to do.

In tranquil Hove, a highlight for many is the large pebble beach lined with beach huts and seafront lawns. This includes Western Lawns, which boasts a lagoon where you can enjoy windsurfing, wakeboarding, sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding tuition and hire, and a skatepark and green space.

To carry on the leisurely theme, head to the ‘Strip’, a mile of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops with a distinctly independent feel, or visit beautiful Hove Park. Covering almost 40 acres, this popular space features a mix of large areas of open grass, flowerbeds, mature trees, and many recreational facilities, including a football pitch, basketball court, several tennis courts and a bowling green. There’s also a fenced-off playground, a seasonal miniature railway and a huge rock weighing about 20 tons, commonly believed to have been used by the Druids for worship.

Indoor attractions include the family-friendly Hove Museum and Art Gallery, which features a significant collection of toys, and the King Alfred Leisure Centre, the largest wet and dry centre in the area.

For those looking to enjoy the bright lights of Brighton, there’s plenty to entertain every family member. The options are virtually endless, from the unique Royal Pavilion and enjoying all the fun of the fair on Brighton Pier to ambling down The Lanes or around Kemptown and eating fish and chips on the beach.

Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy numerous activities, from stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking and fishing, to windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing and jet-skiing. Those preferring to stay dry could head to a match at Premier League football club Brighton & Hove Albion or Sussex County Cricket Club, the world’s oldest county club.

There’s also a whole host of beautiful cliff walks and trails into the South Downs to explore if you want to escape the city altogether.

If you’re also keen to reduce your commute to enjoy even more of what the city has to offer, Brighton is consistently ranked highly on the list of top places to start a business in the UK. In December 2022, it was ranked third in business activity, according to Startups. It is also one of the most attractive UK cities for job seekers or new graduates and has a high percentage of highly skilled workers.

Schools in Brighton & Hove

As a place popular with families, it’s perhaps no surprise that Brighton has a wide selection of good schools at every education level. Top performing primary schools include St Bartholomew’s, West Blatchington Primary and Nursery, and St Mary Magdalen, all of which have a Good Ofsted rating.

Blatchington Mill School, King’s School, Hove Park School, and Sixth Form Centre are popular choices at secondary level.

The city also offers a selection of private schools, including Windlesham School Trust for 3-11-year-olds, The Montessori Place for 1-18-year-olds, and Brighton College Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School for 3-13-year-olds.

Students looking to go on to higher and further education are well served in Brighton, with Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Hove Park School, and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy all having sixth forms. Greater Brighton Metropolitan College runs various full-time courses for people aged 16 and over-focused on providing the practical skills and experience required for a chosen career. Degree courses and courses for adults are also available. In addition, Varndean College offers more than 30 traditional A-Levels, a wide range of vocational courses, a small number of GCSEs and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

And, of course, The University of Brighton is home to some 18,000 students based on four campuses in Brighton and Eastbourne, one reason why the Brighton rental market continues to thrive.

Brighton’s transport links to London and beyond make it an excellent choice for people looking to enjoy a life by the sea while still working in the capital. Brighton train station is mainly served by Thameslink, Gatwick Express, and Southern. It offers a fast route into London, calling at St Pancras International (via Thameslink), London Victoria and London Bridge. These routes also all serve Gatwick Airport. Journey times to London can be as quick as just over an hour. Weekly tickets cost £112, while annual season tickets will set you back close to £4,500.

House prices in Brighton & Hove

According to Rightmove, the average price of a property in Brighton & Hove last year was £497,238.

Flats make up the majority of sales in Brighton & Hove, selling for an average price of just under £370,000. A terraced property will cost just over £570,000 on average. However, expect to pay significantly more for those located on or near the seafront, where a sea view and proximity to the beach come at a premium. Semi-detached properties come in at an average of £608,137.

One huge plus for the Brighton market is the sheer variety of properties available. If you’re looking for luxury in Brighton, detached properties with a sea view could set you back more than £2.5 million, while luxury flats are nearer the £1.5 million price tag. At the other end of the scale, you could get a studio flat for around £170,000, a one- to two-bedroom flat from £190,000, or a two-bedroom house starting from £325,000.

Overall, sold prices in Brighton & Hove over the past year were 7% up on the previous year and 14% up on the 2020 peak of £435,447.

Where to live in Brighton & Hove?

Whether you want city centre living, a beachfront pad or a peaceful family home, there’s an area of Brighton & Hove that’s right for you. The city has a good supply of modern new build flats, including shared ownership options, stunning converted apartments and more traditional Georgian Houses.

The city centre is where you’ll find some of the highest property prices, with townhouses and flats the most common property types. At the same time, the seafront boasts impressive regency properties, many of which have been converted into apartments and are now rental properties.

More affordable properties can be found in the city’s inner suburbs, where Victorian terraced houses can have below-average price tags, making the area a good choice for anyone on a budget. Great family locations include Poets Corner, Hanover and Hollingbury. It’s worth noting that prices in upmarket Hove can be higher than the city itself.

There are also several pretty towns surrounding Brighton & Hove, with increased interest in locations such as Shoreham, Lancing, Saltdean and Peacehaven in recent years.

Buy to lets in Brighton & Hove

From an investment point of view, Brighton & Hove can be a wise place to buy as it has one of the highest rental figures in the whole of the UK. Again, some parts of the city are incredibly popular, with the city centre and seafront attracting younger people and holidaymakers on short-term lets. Areas such as Hove, Queens Park, Elm Grove, Hollingdean, Kemptown and Moulsecoomb are proving popular with student renters, while young families gravitate more towards areas such as Seven Dials, Queens Park and Preston Park and Fiveways, which was named in the top ten of the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live guide for 2022. Expect rental yields in the region of 4%.

Novello in Brighton & Hove

Whether you’re looking to buy a stunning family home in Hove, a seafront escape or a city centre buy-to-let, Novello’s RICS-qualified surveyors have the knowledge and experience to guide you through your purchase.

With many homes in Brighton & Hove having undergone renovations, conversions and modernisation, it’s essential that you get a thorough survey before committing to buy. At Novello, our comprehensive Building Survey combined with our Private Client Surveying service will inspect every element of a property, inside and out. We’ll also offer extensive follow-on advice, such as costing estimates for any major works, help obtaining quotes for any further investigations and even advising on a renegotiation strategy if needed.

If you’re buying a new build, we also offer snagging lists to ensure your home will be in perfect condition once it’s time to move in.

We aim to be the best value and most flexible surveyors in Brighton & Hove, offering a comprehensive, impartial survey, invaluable follow-on advice, and a friendly, professional and responsive service at all times.

To find out more, contact us or arrange a free quotation now.