Saturday, 12 May 2012 11:56 AM
A new survey by the Halifax has revealed huge variations in the rising cost of living by the sea.
The bank found that the average house price in seaside towns rose by 97 per cent over the last 10 years, only just ahead of the 95 per cent seen in England and Wales as a whole.
Seaham in County Durham saw the biggest increase in prices – 183 per cent from £38,443 in 2002 to £108,742 in 2012 – followed by Wadebridge (173 per cent) and Padstow (171 per cent) in Cornwall.
Three Welsh towns – Porthmadog, Pwllheli and Cardigan – also made the top 10.
Eight of the most expensive seaside towns are in the South West with one each in the South East and East Anglia.
Salcombe in Devon (£528,920) just pipped Sandbanks in Dorset (£525,927) to top spot. They were followed by Aldeburgh in Suffolk (£418,415), Padstow (£282,806) and Dartmouth in Devon (£381,788).
In contrast, the ten cheapest seaside towns are all in the north of England. For a budget home by the sea with an average price below £100,000, head to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland (£75,063) and Withernsea in Yorkshire (£92,356).
One of the most famous seaside towns of all – Blackpool – also features in the cheapest top ten with an average price of £104,747.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: "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.
"However, seaside living often comes 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. But, this is not always the case and good value properties can be found in many seaside towns in the South East and Yorkshire and the Humber, in particular."