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Rising tide of Scotland's seaside town house prices

24th May 2014 Print

The average house price in seaside towns rose by 42% over the past decade, to £196,826, according to latest research from Halifax. In cash terms this is equivalent to an increase of close to £500 per month since 2004.

Five seaside towns in Scotland have recorded at least a doubling in house prices since 2004, with all five towns on the Aberdeenshire coast. Fraserburgh has experienced the biggest rise with a 141% increase from an average price of £53,641 in 2004 to £129,325 in 2014. Cove Bay (119%), Peterhead (118%), Inverbervie (114%) and Stonehaven (101%) have seen the next biggest gains.

South of the border, Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk coast line, has seen the best house performance among seaside towns with average property values almost doubling (95%) in the decade to £446,576 in 2014. Other English seaside towns in the top ten for average price increases are Wadebridge in north Cornwall and Workington in Cumbria (both 91%).

With the average house price in a seaside town now standing at £196,826, this means that buying beside the seaside is still cheaper than compared to the average house price across Great Britain (£239,518).

Craig McKinlay, Mortgage Director, Halifax, said: "Seaside towns provide a unique lifestyle opportunity and remain popular places for people to live, while also attracting those looking for second homes or holiday properties which can place additional upward pressure on house prices.

“For once, oil and water have mixed - with Aberdeenshire at the heart of Scotland’s vigorous energy industry, it’s little wonder that seaside houses have increased so substantially. In fact, Aldeburgh in East Anglia (95%), Wadebridge in the South West (91%) and Workington in the North (91%) are the only non-Scottish entrants in the top ten places experiencing seaside house price growth.”

Salcombe and Sandbanks still highest priced seaside towns

The ten most expensive seaside towns are all in the south, with eight in the South West. Salcombe in Devon (£615,344), which is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and Sandbanks in Dorset (£574,089) are the top two most expensive sea side towns to buy in. Aldeburgh (£446,576) in East Anglia is the only town not in the South West or South East.

Despite high growth over ten years, all ten least expensive seaside towns are in the north and Scotland

Finding a bargain is likely to be easier the further north you go, where average prices for the top 10 least expensive seaside towns are all below £95,000. Newbiggin by the Sea (£83,769) in the North, and Port Bannatyne (£85,605) and Girvan (£85,868) in Scotland are the three least expensive seaside towns to buy in. Apart from Newbiggin by the Sea, the only other non-Scottish entrant in the list is Withernsea (£92,251) in Yorkshire and Humber.

Craig McKinlay adds: "Living near the seaside remains an achievable dream for many. Even in the places experiencing the biggest house prices rises in the past ten years, four are still substantially below the UK average. Places like Workington in the North, and Montrose, Peterhead and Fraserburgh in Scotland have experienced exceptional growth but on average houses cost below £150,000."