Waking to the sound of rolling waves and strolling to the beach from your front door is a dream for many – but house prices in many of the UK’s seaside towns have felt like more of a nightmare in recent years.
You’ll have to fork out up to three-quarters of a million in the eye-wateringly pricey Dorset resort of Sandbanks, according to new research by Halifax.
There are some coastal areas, though, where house prices are still relatively affordable. And in seven British towns you can even pick up a home for under £100,000.
We’ve mapped the cheapest and priciest coastal towns below, and explained the stamp duty and mortgage implications of buying a holiday home.
- If you’re thinking about moving house or are interested in buying a holiday home, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0800 197 8461 for whole-of-market, impartial mortgage advice.
Cheapest seaside towns
Looking at average house prices in seaside towns across Britain, Halifax found that Scotland is the place to be if you’re looking for a bargain, with nine of the 10 cheapest coastal areas located there.
Port Bannatyne (pictured above), a picturesque village on the Isle of Bute (west of Glasgow), is the cheapest seaside location in Britain. Halifax reports that the average house price there is just £86,830.
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, in Northumberland, is the only non-Scottish town to appear in the top 10. Redeveloped in 2007, its wide stretch of sandy beach boasts an eye-catching sculpture called The Couple by Sean Henry.
You can pick up a seaside home in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea for an average £88,844.
Gallery: top 10 cheapest seaside towns
- Are you using your phone and unable to see the gallery? If so, try this link.
If you don’t currently live in Scotland but are tempted to relocate there, it’s worth noting that the Scottish property system works differently from the rest of the UK.
You can find out more in our guide to buying a house in Scotland.
Most expensive seaside towns
The swanky southern resort of Sandbanks is by far the priciest seaside town, with local properties setting buyers back an average £785,426.
And as you’ll see from the map below, all but one of Britain’s most expensive seaside towns are located on the south coast.
Aldeburgh in East Anglia is the only exception to the rule, with the average property there costing £526,064.
Coastal house prices mapped
Click on the icons to see place names and house prices. The red houses show the priciest locations; the green show the cheapest.
Source: Halifax, using Land Registry data for the 12 months to March 2019 and Registers of Scotland data for 2018.
- Find out more: finding the best places to live – our guide is packed with helpful tips and has a tool that allows you to check key facts about the area you’re interested in.
Stamp duty on holiday homes
If you want to buy a place by the sea without actually relocating to the coast, there are a couple of financial implications to bear in mind.
Firstly, if you already own a property, you’ll have to pay the second home stamp duty surcharge on your purchase. This adds an extra 4% to your total tax bill in Scotland, and 3% in the rest of the UK.
You can find out what this might cost you by using our calculator:
Holiday let mortgages
The other thing to remember is that, if you’re planning on letting your property out to holidaymakers, you’ll need a special kind of mortgage.
While most lenders don’t offer holiday let mortgages, those that do will generally require a deposit of at least 25% and a projected rental income of around 145% of your monthly mortgage payments.
Our recent news story about the holiday home features that provide the highest yields has more detail on the ins and outs of holiday let mortgages.
Get expert mortgage advice
Holiday let mortgages are very specialist and the best rates are often only available to people applying via a broker.
Which? Mortgage Advisers is an impartial mortgage-broking service with expert advisers who aren’t financially incentivised to offer one mortgage over another. You can give them a call on 0800 197 8461 for a no-obligation consultation, or fill in the form below for a free callback.