House prices have more than doubled in three seaside towns on Scotland’s north east coast since 2004, according to the latest research from Bank of Scotland.
Macduff and Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire recorded the biggest rises over the past eight years with the average house price increasing in both by 123%.
The average price in Macduff is now at £130,025 and £119,425 in Fraserburgh. Cove Bay in Aberdeen recorded the next largest rise with an increase of 105% during the same period. A further 18 coastal towns recorded price increases of at least 50%. They include Montrose at 82%, Campbeltown at 80% and Peterhead and Banff both at 79%.
Since 2004, the average house price in seaside towns rose by 36%, slightly lower than the 38% increase in the whole of Scotland.
The research shows that there is a marked East/West divide in house prices in Scottish seaside towns. Seven of the ten most expensive are on the eastern coastline. North Berwick is the most expensive seaside town in Scotland with an average house price of £309,676. St. Andrews is the second most expensive with an average price of £277,344, followed by Crail at £209,688 and Stonehaven at £197,530.
On the other hand, six of the ten least expensive seaside towns are in western Scotland. They include Greenock at £85,212, Girvan at £85,961, Irvine at £89,727 and Ardrossan at £91,052. However, the least expensive seaside town in Scotland is Buckhaven on the east coast with an average house price of £68,350.
The research also shows that since house prices peaked in quarter three 2007, the number of affordable seaside towns in Scotland has more than doubled. In 2011 there were calculated to be 28 towns where average house prices were deemed to be affordable to those on average earnings, compared to just 11 in 2007.
However, in general seaside towns remain less affordable than in 2004 when 39 towns were affordable, a third more than today.
Buckhaven is the most affordable seaside town in Scotland with house prices, on average, 2.3 times local gross annual earnings. Buckhaven is followed by Girvan at 2.6 and Greenock 2.9. The least affordable towns are St. Andrews at 9.4 and North Berwick at 8.9.
‘Seaside towns are still very popular places to live. They offer a unique lifestyle that for many can’t be matched elsewhere, with that all important sea view, together with a typically high quality of life and a healthy environment,’ said Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland.
‘Over half of the seaside towns in this survey have seen house price growth ahead of the whole of Scotland since 2007, with most of the large increases coming in towns on the north east coast,’ added Patel.