Scottish seaside homes top price-rise league

THE PRICE of properties in Scottish seaside towns has risen faster than anywhere else in the UK, with the cost of a home in some areas doubling over the past decade, a report has revealed.

Breda House dating from 1894 and worth over £2 million. Picture: Contributed

Five seaside towns in Scotland have recorded at least a doubling in house prices since 2004 – all of them situated on the Aberdeenshire coast – according to Halifax.

Fraserburgh has experienced the biggest rise with a 141 per cent increase to £129,325 in 2014.

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Cove Bay has seen a 119 per cent gain, while Peterhead, Inverbervie and Stonehaven have seen the next biggest increases.

UK-wide, the average price of a home next to the sea has risen by £500 per month since 2004, or 42 per cent, to £196,826 – but still below the average UK house price of £239,518.

“Seaside towns provide a unique lifestyle opportunity and remain popular places for people to live, while also attracting those looking for second homes or holiday properties,” said Craig McKinlay, mortgage director for Halifax.

“For once, oil and water have mixed – with Aberdeenshire at the heart of Scotland’s vigorous energy industry, it’s little wonder that seaside houses have increased so substantially.

“In fact, Aldeburgh in East Anglia, Wadebridge in the south-west of England and Workington in Cumbria are the only non-Scottish entrants in the top ten places experiencing seaside house price growth.”

However, properties close to the sea are often more affordable than those in major towns and cities.

Despite high growth over ten years, all ten least expensive seaside towns are in Scotland and the north of England.

Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute, with an average selling price of £85,605 and Girvan in South Ayrshire, where homes typically sell for £85,868, are in the top three least expensive seaside towns to buy in.

Apart from Newbiggin by the Sea in Northumberland, which tops the list, the only other non-Scottish entrant in the list is Withernsea in Yorkshire.

“Living near the seaside remains an achievable dream for many,” added Mr McKinley. “Places like Workington in the north, and Montrose, Peterhead and Fraserburgh in Scotland have experienced exceptional growth but on average houses cost below £150,000.”

Malcom Leslie, head of the Country Department at estate agency Strutt & Parker, said he recently sold a property in the seaside town of Scourie in Sutherland for 80 per cent over the asking price less than a fortnight after it going on the market.

“There has long been appeal for seaside towns in Scotland,” he said.

“East Lothian and East Neuk of Fife are very popular for those looking for a second property as well as retirees as they offer fabulous views, beaches and good golf courses.

“Further north is great for those looking for tranquillity, a more rugged landscape and a remote bolt hole.”

Seaside Towns - 10 biggest house price increases

1. Fraserburgh 141%

2. Cove Bay 119%

3. Peterhead 118%

4. Inverbervie 114%

5. Stonehaven 101%

6. Aldeburgh 95%

7. Montrose 94%

8. Prestonpans 93%

9. Wadebridge 91%

10. Workington 91%

All Seaside Towns in GB 42%

Source: Land Registry and Registrar of Scotland