The most expensive place to buy a seaside home

House prices in some of the UK’s best seaside towns have doubled since 2012 - we reveal the most expensive and cheapest places to buy a seaside home.

seaside houses
(Image credit: © Getty Images)

Whether you’re looking for a buy-to-let or a holiday home, you may be looking at where the best place to buy right now is. With house prices slowing down, we look at the most expensive and cheapest places to buy a home by the sea.

According to latest data from Halifax, Salcombe in Devon is the most expensive seaside setting in Britain to buy a home, with an average house price of £1,244,025. The town has swapped places with last year’s priciest spot – Sandbanks in Dorset.

Homes in Sandbanks cost an average of £952,692, with Aldeburgh making up the top three most expensive seaside areas to buy a home.

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The Suffolk spot will set buyers back £794,492, on average, and is the only place outside of the south west or south east of England to appear in the top ten.

Amid a difficult and unpredictable housing market, those looking for a house by the sea can still expect to find somewhere for less than you may imagine.

The lowest average price for a home near the sea can be found in Greenock, Scotland, where homes cost on average £97,608.

With the exception of Newbiggin-by-the Sea, in the north east of England, nine of the ten least expensive seaside locations are in Scotland.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Britain’s most expensive seaside locations
Seaside locationRegionAverage house price 2022
SalcombeSouth West£1,244,025
SandbanksSouth West£952,692
AldeburghEast of England£794,492
PadstowSouth West£790,847
LymingtonSouth East£663,474
YarmouthSouth East£611,816
DartmouthSouth West£567,985
KingsbridgeSouth West£556,659
WadebridgeSouth West£548,669
Budleigh SaltertonSouth West£537,681

Kim Kinnaird, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “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 socio-economic 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.”

Where have coastal property prices risen the most?

The cost of coastal homes in Britain more than doubled between 2012 and 2022, Halifax’s research found.

But sellers in Salcombe made the greatest gains, as average prices increased by 123% over the last decade. Average prices have risen from £558,538 in 2012 to £1,244,025 ten years later.

Homes in Margate cost 109% more on average in 2022 than in 2012 (up from £146,276 to £305,191)and properties in Westgate-on-Sea are up 100% (from £154,686 to £308,764).

When looking at growth in 2022 compared to the previous year, house prices in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight grew the most – up 53% on average – from £399,206 in 2021 to £611,816 in 2022.

Meanwhile, house buyers in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, need an average of £794,492, up 47% from £539,882 a year prior.Those looking for a property in Campbeltown saw prices increase by 42% during last year, to £129,348 from £91,201.

What will happen to house prices in 2023?

Alongside the Spring Budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published a fresh forecast for the property market. It estimated prices would fall further than previously expected, while Nationwide’s latest house price index showed house prices are now falling at the fastest rate since 2009.

Other mortgage lenders also expect house prices to slump further this year. Lloyds and Halifax expect house prices to fall 8% in 2023, while online estate agent Zoopla is predicting a fall of 5%.

Looking further ahead, the OBR now expects house prices to fall 10% by 2024.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said in January: “Annual price falls are almost inevitable in the coming months but demand and supply have recovered strongly since Christmas, which means a double-digit price crash this year feels unlikely.”

Tom Higgins

Tom is a journalist and writer with an interest in sustainability, economic policy and pensions, looking into how personal finances can be used to make a positive impact. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a BA in journalism before moving to a financial content agency. 

His work has appeared in titles Investment Week and Money Marketing, as well as social media copy for Reuters and Bloomberg in addition to corporate content for financial giants including Mercer, State Street Global Advisors and the PLSA. He has also written for the  Financial Times Group.

When not working out of the Future’s Cardiff office, Tom can be found exploring the hills and coasts of South Wales but is sometimes east of the border supporting Bristol Rovers.