Northern coastal towns lag behind on house prices as southern hot-spots dominate value list

Sandbanks in Poole.
Sandbanks in Poole.
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They’re an enticing prospect for a house-buyer wanting an escape from urban life, with uplifting views and fresh sea air coming as standard.

And it seems that, despite the rapid rise in house prices nationwide, buying a home in one of Yorkshire’s seaside towns might not cost as much as you think.

New figures released by Halifax show that the region’s seaside resorts have seen markedly slower rises in property prices than elsewhere in the country in the last ten years.

Of the 195 seaside towns featured in the bank’s annual study, the eight in Yorkshire and the Humber saw prices rise by an average of just six per cent between 2007 and 2017, compared with 25 per cent nationally.

The average house price of £158,272 contrasted with a national figure of £226,916, with Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay the highest in the region at £205.936.

Sandbanks in Dorset was identified as Britain’s most expensive seaside town for the second year in a row.

With an average house price of £664,051, the glamorous hotspot popular with celebrities was placed ahead of Salcombe in Devon, which was the priciest seaside town in 2015, where the average property costs £617,743.

During the last 10 years, the average house price in Britain’s seaside towns has increased by 25 per cent, from £181,060 in 2007 to £226,916 in 2017 – equating to an average increase of £382 per month.

Second home buyers are often blamed for helping to push up house prices in many popular seaside towns, making it harder for people who grew up in them to get on the housing ladder.

In April 2016, a stamp duty hike was imposed on second home buyers.

There is a marked north-south divide in property values in seaside towns, Halifax said, with southern England dominating the list of the most expensive seaside towns.

Outside southern England, the most expensive seaside areas are the Scottish locations of North Berwick, where a typical home is worth £314,435 and St Andrews, where a property is valued at around £300,319. Mumbles in South Wales is also among the most expensive seaside towns outside southern England, with an average house price of £284,804.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “Seaside towns are extremely popular places to live, offering sought-after views and desirable weather. Being by the seaside does come at a price – with the marked increase in house prices reflecting the demand for rooms with a ‘sea’ view.

“Over the past decade, house prices in the South East, especially coastal towns within commutable distance to London, have shown strong growth and have become Britain’s most

expensive seaside towns. However, the strongest-performing coastal towns in terms of growth have been north of the border in Scotland, where property prices on the Aberdeenshire coastline have been helped by the oil industry more than the sunshine."

Halifax used Land Registry and Registers of Scotland house price data.

Homebuyers wanting to be beside the seaside may want to consider focusing their search on Scotland, which has nine out of the 10 least expensive coastal towns.

Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute is the least expensive seaside location in the survey, with an average price there of £71,550.

Based on average house prices, a buyer could snap up nine homes for the price of one property in Sandbanks. Newbiggin by the Sea in Northumberland follows Port Bannatyne and is the least expensive seaside town in England.