While Cornwall, Dorset and Devon grab the headlines, a new report has suggested buyers looking at less fashionable coastal towns could be on to a winner.
- © PHILIP IDE
- © PHILIP IDE
A study by Halifax has used its annual review of house prices in seaside towns and its quality-of-life survey to reveal which coastal towns offer the best value for money.
It found that while trendy resorts such as Sandbanks, near Poole in Dorset, may have the highest house prices, and former industrial towns such as Seaham, in the North-East, have seen the biggest price gains, it was middle-of-the-road towns that had the best prospects.
Value for money
The top 10 seaside towns offering the best value for money include Bridlington, in the North, Great Yarmouth, in the East, Southend-on-Sea, in the South-East, and Weston-super-Mare, in the South-West.
All enjoyed their heyday during the glory days of the British seaside before seeing their popularity wane with the arrival of cheap foreign travel.
But thanks to regeneration, the willingness to commute further and technology enabling more people to work from home, the once faded towns are taking on a new lease of life.
Colin Kemp, of Halifax Estate Agents, says: "Seaside towns tend to have house prices that are at a premium to their surrounding areas and have generally seen strong house-price growth over the past few years.
"There are still some bargains to be had for homebuyers. Bridlington, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth are the three seaside towns in Britain that offer the best value for money.
"Several seaside towns in the South-East also offer a combination of relatively low property prices and a high quality of life.’
Over the past three years, Seaham, in the North-East, has seen the biggest house-price rise of an English coastal town, with the cost of an average home rising 63 per cent to £122,000.
Halifax estimates the average seaside town has prices at a premium of £5,300 above their county’s average, although prices in the most fashionable areas far outstrip those in their surrounding areas.
This is most pronounced in Britain’s most expensive coastal area, Sandbanks, where the average home costs £488,750 - 106 per cent higher than the Dorset average.
Experts predict seaside towns will continue to benefit from above-average price rises, with strong demand for second homes and demand from the baby-boom generation as it begins to retire pushing up values.
Bargains in the South-East
But even in the heated property market in the South-East of England there are relative bargains to be had.
Halifax named Bexhill in East Sussex, Herne Bay in Kent, and Southend-on-Sea in Essex as having average prices below £200,000 and being in the the top 20 seaside towns for quality of life.
Southend is considered a prime example of a seaside town reinventing itself as a popular place to live, thanks to its location and trains to central London in one hour.
Stavros Antonio, 28, moved to Southend from London last year and is looking to buy his first home in the town, where he works for his family’s care business.
He says: "Southend has changed a lot in the years that I have been visiting and is now a good place to live.
"I could get a two-bedroom flat with a garden for the price of a tiny studio flat in London but still get back to visit my friends in less than an hour if I want to."