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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 16:49 GMT
Reef drives surge in house prices
Boscombe Pier
An artificial surf reef is fuelling property speculation
Europe's first artificial surf reef has prompted a 30% surge in house prices, a Dorset estate agent has claimed.

The 1.4m construction of submerged sand-filled bags will be sunk along Boscombe seafront in a bid to attract 10,000 surfers a year.

The reef is part of a regeneration project that includes luxury flats and the renovation of a neglected pier.

The price jump has happened in only 18 months, and is expected to continue once the reef is finished.

The construction, the only one of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere, has allowed Boscombe to avoid the fate of many coastal towns including poor housing and a low wage economy.

Bucking the trend

Estate agent Stephen Noble said: "It's a very exciting time in Boscombe. Seaside towns in this country are in need of a push.

"The one thing about Bournemouth and this regeneration is that this area is bucking the national trend of seaside resorts," he added.

One block of luxury flats on the new seafront development is priced at between 250,000 and 925,000.

The apartments are due to be launched on 24 March but half have already been sold.


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