If anyone had suggested ten years ago that Saltburn could hold its own against neighbouring Whitby, Staithes and Runswick Bay, they would’ve been laughed out of this small coastal town with shouts of “haddaway” echoing in their ears.Now, after significant investment and a growing number of buyers looking for better value, Saltburn-by-the-sea is newly fashionable.Funding to spruce up its seafront has helped. The 150-year-old pier - the only surviving pier on the Yorkshire coast - has been refurbished and the “front” is now smart with plenty of places to eat, drink and sit.There are now echoes of the town’s glory days as a Victorian seaside resort when Lillie Langtry is said to have stayed at the Saltburn home of Henry Pease, a director of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. It is where she reportedly enjoyed trysts with Edward, Prince of Wales, who had a suite of rooms at the nearby Zetland Hotel. The Zetland is now apartments.“Saltburn has really taken off. I’ve never seen the beach so busy as it’s been this summer. It’s now a really popular place for staycations and for those looking for a bolt hole or holiday let,” says Jason Worton of Inglebys estate agents. “If you go back 30 years that would’ve been unthinkable. It was somewhere you wouldn’t want to be after dark. Now, it couldn’t be more different and the change is dramatic.”Bistros, cafes and attractive independent shops have opened to serve a discerning clientele, which includes a contingent of surfers. Other amenities include convenience stores, pubs, bars, a primary school and a folk club.
The Saltburn cliff tramway . Pic: Gary Longbottom
Property prices: Going up
The town’s popularity is now reflected in rising property values.“Prices have begun to increase recently, ever so fractionally, and it will be interesting to see what happens over the next 12 months as more and more people are showing an interest in our lovely town,” says Rob Grimwood-Bullock of Grimwood Estates. “Buyers are recognising what a beautiful place it is to live in.”Jason Worton agrees: “Ten years ago it was mostly a local market but now we have buyers from further afield. We’ve had quite a lot from South Yorkshire, Leicestershire and also from London.”The cheapest property for sale at the moment is a two-bedroom flat on Amber Street for £73,500 with Inglebys. The most expensive is Claremont on Albion Terrace, which is £650,000. It has six bedrooms and four bathrooms, and is also for sale with Inglebys.
Claremont on Albion Terrace is £650,000 with Inglebys
“Buyers seem to be drawn to characterful properties. There are many interesting homes dating back to the mid-1800s within the town and they seem to be very popular with buyers from out of the area. Hob Hill and The Fairway remain popular with families,” says Rob Grimwood-Bullock.
If you are thinking of buying then don’t hesitate if you think you’ve found “the one”.“Property doesn’t usually sit on the market for long. We recently put a Victorian terraced house on for £180,000 on the Friday and we had offers by the following Monday. East Cleveland hasn’t seen a market like this for years. We call it the ‘Saltburn bubble’,” says Jason Worton.For slightly lower prices buyers should look at surrounding villages. Skelton is a two minute drive or a 15 minute walk from Saltburn and house prices are 20 per cent cheaper. There is a lot of new development there but the village retains its character and has good amenities.Brotton is 25 per cent cheaper and is a seven minute drive from Saltburn.Four miles up the coast is affordable Skinningrove, which has one of the UK’s best beaches.
Saltburn-by-the-sea. Pic: Gary Longbottom