Residential property prices have more than doubled over the past decade in the majority of seaside towns in England and Wales, according to the latest research from the Halifax.
The annual Halifax Seaside Town Review which tracks house price movements in 97 seaside towns is based on house price data from the Land Registry and covers the period from February 2001 to February 2011.
The largest increase is in the Cornwall town of Wadebridge where the average price jumped by almost 270% from just over £100,000 in 2001 to £370,902 in 2011. Maryport, close to the Lakes in Cumbria, was second on the list, where the average house prices rose by 192% from £40,932 in 2001 to £119,604 in 2011, followed by Tenby at 186% and Seaham at 177%. Seaside towns in northern England and Wales have seen some of the biggest price jumps.
These towns include Whitehaven in Cumbria at 172% and Caernarfon at 171% and Pwllheli 169%, both in Wales. Cleethorpes on the South Humberside coast increased 165% and Whitby in North Yorkshire was up 153%.
The research shows that there is a significant North South divide in house prices in seaside towns despite the big increases in house prices in many seaside towns in the north since 2001. All ten of the most expensive seaside towns are on the south coast with Sandbanks in Dorset coming out on top with an average house price of £532,652. Sandbanks is followed by Padstow in Cornwall at £381,916, Wadebridge at £370,902 and Fowey at £363,494, both also in Cornwall.
Outside southern England the most expensive seaside towns include the Mumbles in Swansea at £263,470, Tenby at £229,690, Alnwick in Northumberland at £220,228 and Whitby at £216,190.
However, not all seaside towns boast high average prices. Two of the most renowned and historically popular seaside towns in England, Blackpool and Cleethorpes are among the ten least expensive seaside towns at £111,003 and £117,882 respectively.
The least expensive town in the survey is Withernsea on the North Humberside coast with an average house price of £99,153. Fleetwood on the Lancashire coast follows just behind at £102,908. Outside northern England, Rhyl at £121,838 is the least expensive Welsh seaside town, and Lowestoft at £141,097 has the lowest average house price of seaside towns in southern England.
‘Seaside towns have always been popular places to live, but they have perhaps become even more so in recent years. This is certainly true if we take house prices as an indicator of desirability. Over the past decade, the average house price in seaside towns has risen at a faster rate than for all properties in England and Wales generally. The 270% increase in Wadebridge in Cornwall is notable, but prices have seen big rises in coastal towns across northern England and Wales too,’ said Nitesh Patel, housing economist at the Halifax.
‘Seaside towns have a distinct advantage over urban areas in offering that all-important sea view, and they typically have a high quality of life and a healthy environment. There is a romance associated with living by the sea and this is evident in the high house prices seen in many of these areas,’ added Patel.