If you’ve always wanted a home by the seaside but have baulked at the price you need to pay, there’s been a bit of good news – house prices in the two most popular seaside towns have fallen a little, a recent survey by Halifax shows. But, at an average price of £626,553, buying a home in the most expensive coastal town of Sandbanks, Poole, might still be beyond many of our means.

Salcombe in south Devon is another coastal town that might remain only a holiday destination for many of us, even after a decline in property values of £52,702.

“Seaside living is something that many Britons long for, but the reality is, that for the most sought-after locations, its often out of our financial reach,” said Newington Green estate agent M&M Property. “However, if you’ve had your eye on one of the seaside hotspots for a while and been saving, the slight decline in prices there might be enough for you to take the plunge.”

The popular and not so popular

Following Sandbanks and Salcombe, in third place is Aldeburgh in east Anglia, with an average house price of £535,872. Lymington in south east England is fourth where the average price of a seaside property there will set you back some £487,143.

While these prices are on the high side compared with some regions, they can seem pretty reasonable to others, which is why they’re also popular investment spots. Holiday lets in these popular coastal reaches can be worth their weight in gold, particularly throughout the summer holiday months.

And so, even if home-buyers and movers might not be too impressed with the average prices in some seaside towns, that slight price decline from 2017 might be just enough to tip the balance for an investor or two, who’s looking to buy their next holiday let.

If you really do want to live beside the seaside, but can’t stretch to the most popular regions, then there are other options. Halifax research also shows the least expensive UK seaside towns – but be prepared for a move north.

  • Millport in Scotland is the least expensive UK seaside town with an average property price of £81,233.
  • Girvan in Scotland is next, at £91,459.
  • Then comes Saltcoats in Scotland, with an average price of £92,891.

“It’s probably no real surprise that Scottish coastal towns are less expensive than those in southern England, particularly when you take the average temperature and hours of sunshine into account,” said Wimbledon estate agent, Robert Holmes.

Coastal views help with happiness

But, just why are coastal towns so popular? Well, even though many of us might not realise it, the hours of sunshine and heightened levels of happiness are likely a big part of the pull of these often-picturesque spots.

The data also show that Sandbanks in Poole has 33 hours of sunshine per week, the joint highest in the index and the same as Lymington and East Wittering. However, while the average level of happiness is measured at 7.6, which is above the UK average of 7.5, there are four towns in the top 10 with a higher level of happiness, including Aldeburgh which has the highest at 8.2.

“Those details suggest that Sandbanks has even more going for it that just sunshine, happiness and an enviable coast line,” said Eden Harper. And that’s something that’s sure to keep home buyers and investors interested in that town and others like it, for many years to come.”