Where are the best places to live by the seaside in the UK?

Do you want to live beside the seaside? Sandbanks and Salcombe named priciest spots to live by the coast – but values have dropped substantially in the last year

  • Sandbanks tops Halifax’s list of the most expensive places to live by the seaside
  • The average price of a property in Sandbanks is £626,553
  • But house prices on the Dorset peninsula dropped £37,500 in a year
  • Average house prices in seaside towns across Britain risen 21% in a decade
  • Millport named the least expensive seaside town

It is often cited as one of the most expensive places to live and its latest accolade will do nothing to lessen its reputation as a desirable location among the rich and famous.

Sandbanks in Poole has been named as the priciest seaside town in the country for the third year running, in a survey by Halifax.

The Dorset peninsula has an average house price of £626,553, with well-known residents including former football manager Harry Redknapp.

Sandbanks in Poole has been named as the most expensive seaside town for the third year

Most of the seaside towns with the biggest house price growth in the past decade are in the South East

The average price of a property in Sandbanks has reached more than £600k

However, the area has felt the force of a change in stamp duty, which sees those buying more expensive homes pay considerable more in tax.

Wealthy buyers do not seem so willing to fork out as much in stamp duty to buy a property in Sandbanks, according to experts. It has resulted in prices dropping £37,500 in a year.

The second most expensive seaside town is Salcombe in Devon, where prices have also dropped by £52,702 to an average of £577,591.

House prices in Salcombe, Devon, have dropped £52,000 to an average of £578,000

Aldeburgh in Suffolk is ranked third in the list of the most expensive seaside towns

Since 2008, the average house price in Britain’s seaside towns has risen by 21 per cent from an average £193,859 in 2008 to £234,654 in 2018.

It equates to an average increase of more than £4,000 a year.


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Most of the seaside towns with the biggest house price growth in the past decade are in the South East.

Average house prices in Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex at £330,684 and Whitstable in Kent at £368,563 have both increased by 57 per cent since 2008. 

Joining them in the top three is Aldeburgh in Suffolk at 56 per cent.

The average price of a property in Fowey, in Cornwall, is £403,622

Lymington, in Hampshire, has an average of 33 hours of sunshine every week

Russell Galley, of Halifax, 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 in 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.’

Budleigh Salterton in the South West is among the most expensive seaside towns 

He added: ‘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.’

Among the 10 least expensive seaside towns, nine are in Scotland with Millport, on the island of Great Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, leading the least expensive list with an average price of £81,233

It is followed by Girvan in South Ayrshire at £91,459 and Saltcoats in North Ayrshire at £92,891.

Seven seaside towns have an average house price of less than £100,000 and the hours of sunshine for the 10 least expensive places range from 21 to 26 hours a week.

This is in sharp contrast to the most expensive seaside locations such as Sandbanks and Lymington which top the list for the most hours of sunshine, with an impressive 33 hours a week.

However, residents in the least expensive seaside towns scored well in the happiness stakes – better than most of those living in some of the most expensive location.

Those in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea were happiest, scoring 8.1 out of 10, followed by Wick in Caithness, Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute, and Dunoon in Argyll and Bute, with 7.8. 

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