Most expensive and cheapest UK seaside locations to buy a home

Priciest areas for a coastal home in the UK are in Devon

The Salcombe Estuary in South Devon. The average house price in Salcombe last year was a little more than £1.2 million. Photo: Devon and Cornwall Photography
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Salcombe in Devon was Britain’s most expensive location to buy a seaside home on average in 2022, analysis from Halifax has suggested.

The seaside town is located within an area of outstanding natural beauty and swapped places with Sandbanks in Dorset, which was previously named the most expensive seaside spot.

House price data for the 12 months to December 2022 was analysed to make the findings, with the bank looking at 209 coastal locations in total.

It found the average house price in Salcombe last year was a little more than £1.2 million ($1.5 million).

As well as attracting ramblers, Salcombe’s estuary location also makes it a popular place for activities on the water.

At the other end of the spectrum, Greenock in Inverclyde, Scotland, was found to have the lowest average house price of the seaside locations analysed, at £97,608.

Scotland dominated Halifax’s top 10 list of the least expensive seaside locations.

Halifax’s study indicated that, in general, the cost of coastal homes across Britain has increased by 56 per cent between 2012 and 2022, from £195,509 to £304,460.

During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, coastal and rural locations were particularly popular as house hunters embarked on a “race for space”.

Many of the most expensive seaside locations were found along the coastline of southern England, in areas popular with second home owners.

Back in 2012, the average house price in Salcombe, at £558,538, was less than half the typical 2022 value.

Other locations where house prices have at least doubled over the past decade include Margate and Westgate-on-Sea in Kent.

A woman plays with her dog on Padstow Beach. PA

By the end of 2022, a home in Margate cost 109 per cent more, on average, than it did in 2012, rising from £146,276 to £305,191, and the average cost of a property in Westgate-on-Sea doubled, from £154,686 to £308,764.

“For many, owning a home by the sea is an aspiration, with coastal living offering beach walks, clean air and other health benefits,” said Kim Kinnaird, mortgages director at Halifax.

“But this comes at a price in many locations and Britain’s most expensive seaside spot, Salcombe in Devon, will set buyers back over £1.2 million on average.

“When we delve deeper into the cost of Britain’s seaside homes, it’s clear that there is a broad spectrum in house prices.

“Whilst million-pound properties are abundant in the south-west of England, in contrast, homes in Greenock in Scotland are valued on average at less than £100,000.

“Second home ownership undoubtedly plays a role in driving up prices in the most desirable locations. While house prices in any location are driven by factors such as supply and demand and interest rates, there are also socioeconomic factors at play.

“Some of these factors are more acute in Britain’s coastal communities, and many British towns most in need of investment also sit near the shore.”

Greenock in Inverclyde, Scotland, was found to have the lowest average house price of the seaside locations analysed, at £97,608. Getty

Halifax used Land Registry data covering England and Wales, in addition to figures from the Registers of Scotland, to make the findings.

Here are Britain’s most expensive locations to buy a seaside home out of the 209 locations analysed, according to Halifax, with the average house price (based on figures for the 12 months to December 2022):

Britain's 10 most expensive locations to buy a seaside home

1. Salcombe, Devon, south-west, £1,244,025

2. Sandbanks, Dorset, south-west, £952,692

3. Aldeburgh, Suffolk, east of England, £794,492

4. Padstow, Cornwall, south-west, £790,847

5. Lymington, Hampshire, south-east, £663,474

6. Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, south-east, £611,816

7. Dartmouth, Devon, south-west, £567,985

8. Kingsbridge, Devon, south-west, £556,659

9. Wadebridge, Cornwall, south-west, £548,669

10. Budleigh Salterton, Devon, south-west, £537,681

Here are Britain’s least expensive locations to buy a seaside home out of the 209 locations analysed, according to Halifax, with the average house price (based on figures for the 12 months to December 2022):

Britain's 10 least expensive locations to buy a seaside home

1. Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland, £97,608

2. Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland, £105,410

3. Millport, Ayrshire, Scotland, £111,381

4. Invergordon, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland £114,962

5. Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland, £116,414

6. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, north-east, £117,663

7. Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, £117,884

8. Wick, Caithness, Scotland, £124,857

9. Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, £126,716

10. Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, £129,348

And here are the locations with the biggest house price increases between 2012 and 2022, according to Halifax, with the average house price in 2022 followed by the percentage increase:

The 10 seaside locations with the biggest house price increases

1. Salcombe, Devon, south-west, £1,244,025, 123 per cent

2. Margate, Kent, south-east, £305,191, 109 per cent

3. Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, south-east, £308,764, 100 per cent

=4. Birchington, Kent, south-east, £386,040, 98 per cent

=4. Aldeburgh, Suffolk, east of England, £794,492, 98 per cent

=6. Deal, Kent, south-east, £391,325, 97 per cent

=6. Ramsgate, Kent, south-east, £307,737, 97 per cent

=6. Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, south-east, £611,816, 97 per cent

9. Whitstable, Kent, south-east, £483,692, 95 per cent

=10. Padstow, Cornwall, south-west, £790,847, 94 per cent

=10. Burnham-On-Crouch, Essex, east of England, £418,609, 94 per cent

UK homes sold at discount see price reduced by average £14,000

House vendors accepting price discounts are selling properties with reductions of 4 per cent or £14,000 on average, according to website Zoopla.

Zoopla said that, despite demand for homes to purchase being lower than it was a year ago, improved choice and realism among sellers is helping to drive sales.

The website tracks the first asking price and agreed selling price for many house sales. It said the £14,000 discount is the median average, excluding homes that were sold with no price reduction.

Demand from house-hunters is 43 per cent lower than a year ago but the volume of sales being agreed is only 16 per cent lower than last year, the website said.

Sellers have seen sizeable price gains over the past three years, giving them more flexibility on agreed upon prices, it added.

House-hunters now have more choice generally, with the average estate agent having 25 homes available, compared with 14 a year ago, Zoopla said.

UK homes sold at a discount see prices reduced by an average of £14,000. PA

Rapid rent increases, a strong labour market and falls in some mortgage rates are helping to support demand for house purchases, it added.

However, properties are taking about 15 days on average longer to sell than a year ago. The average time to sell ranges from 28 days in Scotland to 44 days in London, Zoopla said.

It said Scotland, Wales, the north-east of England and London are seeing relatively strong levels of buyer demand.

Zoopla said it is seeing a shift in sales towards markets offering better value for money and it expects the inner London flats market to see more activity in 2023.

Demand is weaker in regions where prices jumped particularly strongly during the coronavirus pandemic and where prices are higher than the national average, Zoopla said.

These are markets where higher borrowing costs affect buying power, covering the southern half of England and the Midlands, it added.

“Comparing sales in the last month to the same time last year, we find an increase in the share of sales in the cheapest 40 per cent of the market by price,” the report, which covered March, said.

“We also see a drop in the share of sales in the higher-priced top 40 per cent of the market by price.

“This is clear evidence of continued demand from first-time buyers or second-steppers [former first-time buyers who are taking their second step on the property ladder]. It also signals more caution on the part of existing homeowners.”

House price signs in an estate agent's window in Kentish Town, London. PA

“The housing market is arguably more balanced than it has been for more than three years,” said Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla.

“Levels of supply have recovered and buyers and sellers are not miles apart on where they see pricing and this means deals are being agreed at an increasing rate.

“Pricing levels are adjusting downwards compared to a year ago but fears of a major downturn in prices are overdone.

“Falling mortgage rates and a strong labour market are supporting activity levels from committed movers who need to be realistic on price if they are serious about moving home in 2023.

“We expect to see levels of activity continue to steadily improve over Easter and into the summer and [the second half of the year].”

Kevin Shaw, national sales managing director at Leaders Romans Group, said: “Importantly, we’re seeing few undecided sellers and buyers: those that are in the market today are serious movers.”

Matt Smith, a mortgage expert at property website Rightmove, said the volume of mortgage rate reductions by lenders has gathered pace.

“This reflects lenders’ increasing confidence in the future direction of rates following the Bank of England base rate announcement,” he said.

“And, perhaps of equal importance, it’s a sign that lenders are actively competing for business from prospective homebuyers.

“As we go into the Easter break, we can expect that rates will remain flat or even creep down a little in the coming week, in part due to the bank holidays, but also as lenders take stock of the impact of recent repricing activity.”

Updated: April 05, 2023, 6:04 AM