Britons really do love to be beside the seaside – and they don’t mind paying top dollar for the pleasure, according to the latest Halifax research.
In its index of the UK’s most expensive seaside towns, Sandbanks, near Poole in Dorset, has come in at No.1 for the third year on the trot. Regarded as a millionaire’s paradise and home to football personalities such as Harry and Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness, a home in the sunny peninsula will cost an average £626,553.
However, while Sandbanks retained its top spot as the UK’s most expensive coastal location, the town has actually seen its house prices drop by an average £37,494 in the last year.
The same fate has befallen Salcombe, the South Devon resort that took second place in the top 10 where house prices have fallen even more dramatically, by an average £52,702. Average prices in Salcombe are £577, 591.
In third place is Aldeburgh in Suffolk on £535,872; 4. Lymington, Hampshire, £487,143; 5. Padstow, Cornwall, £435,833; 6. Dartmouth, Devon, £431,539; 7. East Wittering, West Sussex, £414,005; 8. Fowey, Cornwall, £403,622; 9. Lyme Regis, Dorset, £397,584; 10. Budleigh Salterton, Devon, £396,034.
And if you’d love a home by the coast but are put off by those sky-high prices in the south, look north.
Of the top 10 cheapest seaside towns in the UK, nine are in Scotland. No.1 spot goes to Millport, on the island of Great Cumbrae, where average prices are £81,233; followed by Girvan, Ayrshire, £91,459; 3. Saltcoats, Ayrshire, £92,891; 4. Wick, Caithness, £93,487; 5. Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland, £94,385; 6. Irvine, Ayrshire, £97,727; 7. Greenock, Inverclyde, £98,203; 8. Ardrossan, Ayrshire, £100,496; 9. Port Bannatyne, Isle of Bute, £101,094; 10. Dunoon, Argyll, £101,118.
Meanwhile, the seaside resort that boasts the happiest resident is Aldeburgh, followed by East Wittering and Budleigh Salterton.
Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, said: “It’s no surprise that the south coast continues to be home to the most expensive seaside towns in the country, including those with the greatest growth in house prices over the last 10 years.
“What we can see, though, is that the two most desirable locations have, in fact, seen prices drop over the last year. This fall is likely to have been impacted by the higher costs of stamp duty for these more expensive homes.
“Having a postcard view can be a dream that comes with a hefty price tag attached, but while more sun is undoubtedly appealing, it doesn’t appear to guarantee happy homeowners. Seaside house-hunters may be more tempted by Newbiggin by the Sea in Northumberland, where average prices stand below £95,000 and offer a higher happiness rating than nine out of 10 of the most expensive towns.”