Porthmadog, Wales sees biggest house price rise for a seaside town in ten years. Salcombe, Devon, still the most expensive

27th May 2013

The average house price in seaside towns rose by 63% over the past decade, to £197,938 according to latest research from Halifax.

Since 2003, Porthmadog in Wales is the seaside town that recorded the biggest rise with the average house price increasing by 134% from £69,479 to £162,638 in 2013. The town is adjacent to the Snowdonia National Park and expanse of the Glaslyn estuary. Seaham (128%) and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (120%) – both in the North East of Englan – saw the next largest rises, and now stand at £104,840 and £81,442. (Table 1).

Unlike the recent performance of the wider housing market, eight of the ten seaside towns experiencing the biggest house price gains since 2003 are outside southern England. The other two top performers – Mawes (£369,224) and Perranporth (£262,113) – are in the South West.

The others had average prices that were well below £100,000 in 2003, with prices rising sharply from a relatively low base over the decade.

The average house price in a seaside town now stands at £197,938. This means that the much sought after life beside the seaside is 17% more affordable when compared to the average house price across England and Wales (£238,091).

The price performance of seaside towns was slightly below the 70% increase across the whole of England and Wales since 2003. However, there was a shift in the comparative performance of seaside towns, which outperformed overall prices in England and Wales in the ten years to 2012.

Despite the outperformance by northern seaside towns generally over the past ten years, all ten of the most expensive seaside towns in England and Wales are on the south coast with eight in the South West.

Salcombe in Devon (£570,378), which sits in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Sandbanks in Dorset (£552,242) have the highest average prices with both also featuring amongst the most expensive areas of any description in the country (Table 3), with both retaining their top positions from the 2012 rankings.

Contrary to the north’s outperformance over the decade as whole, southern seaside towns have fared better during the past five years. All top ten performers since 2008 are in southern England1 led by Aldeburgh in Suffolk, home of the internationally renowned Aldeburgh Festival of arts, which has recorded a 17% increase. (Table 2)

The majority of seaside towns in Wales (63%), East Anglia (60%) and the South West (57%) have an average price that is higher than the average for their county. In contrast, there are no seaside towns in Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands with an average price above their county’s average.

All ten least expensive seaside towns are in northern England

Not all seaside towns boast high average prices. Three towns have an average price below £100,000 – Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland (£81,442), Withernsea in Yorkshire & the Humber (£93,671) and Fleetwood in Lancashire (£99,210).  (Table 4)

Blackpool – one of the most famed and historically popular seaside towns in England – features in the list of the ten least expensive seaside towns with an average house price of £101,715.

Rhyl (£116,874) is the least expensive Welsh seaside town. Lowestoft (£138,687) has the lowest average house price of seaside towns in southern England.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “Seaside towns are highly popular places to live. They offer a unique lifestyle with a typically high quality of life and a healthy environment and as a result, living by the coast can come at a price.

“The majority of seaside towns in Wales, East Anglia and the South West have an average house price that is higher than the surrounding area. This is not always the case though and good value properties can be found in many seaside towns, particularly in the South East and Yorkshire and the Humber.”

The most expensive seaside towns outside southern England are the Mumbles in south Wales (£266,891), Grange over Sands in Cumbria (£220,080), Tenby in Wales (£205,342) and Alnmouth in Northumberland (£203,846).

Table 1: Biggest house price rises in the last ten years

Seaside Town Region Average House Price 2003a (£) Average House Price £ 2013 a (£) 2003-2013% change
Porthmadog Wales 69,479 162,638 134%
Seaham North 46,068 104,840 128%
Newbiggin by the Sea North 37,041 81,442 120%
Mawes South West 171,362 369,224 115%
Maryport North 52,593 112,673 114%
Workington North 55,187 115,000 108%
Whitehaven North 59,918 123,161 106%
Perranporth South West 128,293 262,113 104%
Cleethorpes Yorkshire & the Humber 58,354 118,077 102%
Berwick Upon Tweed North 77,769 156,038 101%

Source: Land Registry         Note a: 12 months to February 2003 – 12 months to February 2013

Table 2: Seaside Towns – 10 biggest house price increases 2008- 2013

Seaside Town Region Average House Price 2008a (£) Average House Price £ 2013 a (£) 2008-2013% change
Aldeburgh East Anglia 350,209 408,700 17%
Salcombe South West 515,366 570,378 11%
St. Ives South West 281,529 311,327 11%
Mawes South West 337,101 369,224 10%
Perranporth South West 240,970 262,113 9%
Padstow South West 356,349 386,261 8%
Whitstable South East 234,357 250,683 7%
Shoreham By Sea South East 252,282 267,837 6%
Brighton South East 258,140 273,389 6%
West Mersea South East 247,481 261,660 6%

Source: Land Registry         Note a: 12 months to February 2008 – 12 months to February 2013


Table 3: 10 Most Expensive Seaside Towns in England & Wales

Town Region Average House Price 2013a (£)
Salcombe South West 570,378
Sandsbank South West 522,242
Aldeburgh East Anglia 408,700
Padstow South West 386,261
Mawes South West 369,224
Fowey South West 342,577
Lymington South East 340,944
Dartmouth South West 335,956
Wadebridge South West 333,897
Budleigh Salterton South West 330,436

Sources: Land Registry

Note a: 12 months to February 2013

Table 4: 10 Least Expensive Seaside Towns in England & Wales

Town Region Average House Price 2013a (£)
Newbiggin by the Sea North 81,442
Withernsea Yorkshire & the Humber 93,671
Fleetwood North West 99,210
Blackpool North West 101,715
Seaham North 104,840
Blyth North 107,486
Maryport North 112,673
South Shields North 114,777
Workington North 115,000
Hartlepool North 116,518

Sources: Land Registry

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