Seaside living helps property perform better in coastal towns than in other parts of England and Wales, survey finds

Seaside towns outperform other locations

The attractions of living by the sea has helped property in seaside towns in England and Wales outperform other locations, a new report shows.

Some seaside downs have seen property prices rise despite the economic down turn with Padstow in Cornwall seeing values rise by an astonishing 211% between 2001 and 2009, the research from the Halifax shows.

This though has meant that property in Padstow is among the least affordable. Average prices increased by 211% in the popular fishing and tourist town from £135,677 to £421,954.

Property prices at least doubled between 2001 and 2009 in almost half of the seaside towns surveyed in the annual Halifax Seaside Town Review that tracks house price movements in approximately 100 seaside towns in England and Wales.

The average house price in all seaside towns increased by 92%, outpacing the 81% rise in prices across England and Wales as a whole from 2001 to 2009. Prices fell in all but four seaside towns, Padstow, Lyme Regis, Robin Hood’s Bay and St Mawes. A number of towns though have recorded a recovery in property values in 2009 with Colwyn Bay in north Wales experiencing the largest rise between 2008 and 2009 at 10%.

Withernsea in Yorkshire is the most affordable seaside town for property in England and Wales while Sandbanks in Dorset and Padstow in Cornwall are the least affordable, according to the report.

Withernsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire came top as the most affordable seaside town based on the average house price to earnings ratio in 2009.  Prices were on average three times local annual gross average earnings. Withernsea is followed by Whitehaven and Maryport, both in Cumbria and both with a house price to earnings ratio of 3.7.

Sandbanks and Padstow both came out with an average house price to earnings ratio of 18.9, followed by two more Cornish towns, Fowey at 14.4 and Rock at 14.

Sandbanks is also the most expensive seaside town with an average house price of £544,951 in 2009, followed by Padstow at £421,954 and Fowey at £335,817.

Outside the South West and South East of England, the most expensive seaside towns are the Mumbles in south Wales at £248,532 and the Norfolk towns of Brancaster at £223,299 and Hunstanton at £212,983.

After Padstow the next biggest property price increases were in Pwllheli in Wales at 161% and Seaham in the North at 159%.

‘Living on the coast offers many attractions, including a typically high quality of life and attractive surroundings. As a result, property in seaside towns is often very popular with homebuyers,’ explained Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.

‘Whilst property in seaside towns can be more expensive than elsewhere, exceptional value for many can still be found for those searching to realise their dream of living near the sea,’ he added.

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