Where's Britain's most expensive seaside town?

Where's Britain's most expensive seaside town?

Using research carried out by Halifax, online agency Tepilo asks where Britain's most expensive seaside towns are located.

Arcades, piers, seagulls, fish & chips, ice cream vans, mini golf, a sense of faded grandeur – these are just some of the things that give British seaside resorts their own unique, characterful appeal.


But where is the UK's most expensive seaside town?


Well, Sandbanks, an exclusive peninsula in Poole that is home to some of the most expensive houses in the country and counts Harry Redknapp as one of its residents, has retained top spot for the second consecutive year.


According to the latest Seaside Town Review carried out by high street mortgage lender Halifax, Sandbanks is the most expensive seaside town in the UK, with an average price of more than £664,000.


In the last ten years, significant price increases in British seaside towns have been a common theme, with house prices rising, on average, by a quarter. Since 2007 the average price in seaside towns has soared from £181,060 to £226,916 in 2017, equivalent to an average increase of £382 per month.


Like much else, there is a clear north-south divide when it comes to property prices in seaside towns. Reflecting the trends across the rest of the country, nine out of 10 of the most expensive seaside towns can be found on the southern coast of England.


While Sandbanks leads the way again, Salcombe in Devon – a popular resort town with beautiful beaches and stunning scenery – wasn't far behind, with an average price of £617,743.


Aldeburgh in East Anglia was in third place, with an average property price of £526,689.


Salcombe was the most expensive seaside town in 2015, but for the last two years it has been overtaken by its Dorset-based counterpart.


Away from southern England, seaside towns in Scotland and South Wales scored most highly, with North Berwick (£314,435), St Andrews (£300,319) and The Mumbles (£284,804) all performing relatively strongly.


It is also Scottish seaside towns which have seen the greatest average growth in the last decade, with the average price in Aberdeenshire town Fraseburgh nearly doubling from £70,255 in 2006 to £136,889 in 2016.


Lerwick in the Shetlands also saw growth of 77%. Shoreham-by-Sea, which is sandwiched between Worthing and Brighton on the south coast of England, witnessed growth of 70% in the last ten years, while Aldeburgh saw a rise of 67%.


Aldeburgh also saw house prices increase by the greatest value between 2007 and 2017, up from

£315,641 to £526,689 - a rise of £211,048 or £1,759 a month. Sandbanks was the next highest, witnessing value growth of £162,852 or £1,357 a month in the last decade.


Remote, hard-to-reach seaside towns in Scotland were the least expensive in the UK, accounting for nine out of 10 of the least costly locations in Halifax's findings. Port Bannatyne, located on the Isle of Bute, was the least expensive seaside town with an average property price of £71,550, nearly £600,000 cheaper than Sandbanks.


Seaside towns in the north of England also tend to have lower house prices. Newbiggin by the Sea in Northumberland was the least expensive resort in England, with an average price of £75,779.


Meanwhile, Western Scotland was the location for eight of the 10 least expensive seaside towns, home to areas such as Campbeltown (£80,737), Girvan (£85,082) and Millport (£86,392). All in all, Halifax's research found that 12 seaside towns have an average price below £100,000.


Seaside towns have long been popular places to live, particularly for retirees and those looking to bring up families away from the hustle and bustle and stresses and strains of city life. It's even more so the case for seaside towns with easy access and transport links to major cities, allowing commuters the best of both worlds – working in the city, living by the sea.


The scenery and views on offer, the slower pace of life, the greater sense of community, the generally better weather (many seaside towns, particularly in southern England, seem to operate under their own micro-climate and can be much warmer than locations inland), and the advantages of having a beach on your doorstep all make seaside living desirable.


As such, demand is high. And, as we can see from the above research, you will have to pay a pretty penny to bag homes in parts of southern England. Homes with sea views will also often command a higher premium, just as riverside and lakeside properties do.


However, investors and buyers hunting for a bargain have plenty to choose from too, particularly in the north of England, Wales and much of Scotland.


For sellers of seaside homes, you should feel confident about your chances of getting a good price for your property, especially if you live in a particularly desirable or tourist-friendly location.


As you would expect, seaside towns within commutable distance of London are the most expensive and have experienced the strongest growth.


That said, strong price growth hasn't just been limited to the South East, with the strongest performing coastal towns in terms of growth to be found north of the border in Scotland, especially on the Aberdeenshire coastline. This, however, may have more to do with the oil industry than sunshine! Aberdeenshire may not be sun-rich, but it is oil-rich and attracts workers and investment from all over the globe.


Whether you're looking to buy, invest, rent or sell, seaside towns in the UK offer more than just a place to escape to on a sunny day for a dip in the sea and a ‘99’.


In terms of property – and rising house prices – they offer plenty for sellers to cheer. At the same time, buyers and investors hunting for a relative bargain have lots to get their teeth into.


Winners all round!