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The tide is high: an analysis of the UK coastal town property market

The top-performing 45 UK coastal towns have been revealed following analysis of Zoopla data by national estate agency Jackson-Stops.

The findings – based on capital growth, current average prices and price premiums over the last five years – reveal that more than nine in 10 coastal towns saw prices rise by between 11% and 55% in this period.

Meanwhile, more than half (51%) of locations analysed have outperformed the county in which they reside in terms of property prices between 2013 and 2018.


South west markets have wind in their sails

Of the 20 towns which currently command a premium compared to the counties in which they are located, Salcombe takes the top spot, with prices here standing at least 110% higher than those in Devon over the last 10 years.

Zoopla’s data shows average prices in the town rose to £787,628 in 2018, meaning properties now achieve a premium of 171% compared to the average price of a home in the country of Devon.

The popular resort town of Salcombe is also the most expensive coastal town analysed. Prices here increased by 27% over the previous five years and by almost 60% from just under £500,000 in 2008.

Interestingly, seven of the top 10 most expensive coastal towns are located in the South West, including Padstow, Dartmouth and Lyme Regis – making this the highest-priced region of those analysed.

The price premium of a coastal town

Homes in Aldeburgh in Suffolk (86%) and Padstow in Cornwall (80%) currently achieve a significant premium compared to the counties in which they reside. Aldeburgh is also the second most expensive town of those analysed, with average house prices in this sought-after UK seaside location increasing by 18% to £514,552 over the five years to 2018.

According to Jackson-Stops’ Ipswich branch, properties on this seafront can also command a significant premium of 25+%.

Out of the towns that did not record a premium over their counties, the towns of Filey and Scarborough in North Yorkshire and Ilfracombe in Devon saw prices underperform in 2018 by at least 34% when compared to house prices across their respective counties.

Property prices in Ilfracombe stand at just £190,074, while average prices across Devon are more than £100,000 higher. With the West Country known for its high property prices, Ilfracombe bucks the trend, making it the ideal spot for those looking for the quintessential seaside experience on a budget.

Least expensive coastal towns

The two Lancashire coastal hotspots of Blackpool (£129,254) and Morecambe (£144, 256) were recorded as the least expensive seaside locations in which to buy a home – despite experiencing 18% and 15% price increases over the last five years respectively.

Typical homes in Blackpool are worth £667,374 less than properties in the most expensive coastal town of Salcombe, making them good value for money for those buyers simply looking to reside by the seaside without a preference on location.

Meanwhile, the four towns which experienced house price growth of less than 10% since 2013 includes Ilfracombe in Devon. Prices here have remained flat at around £190,000 over the five-year period, following a 7% price dip between 2008 and 2013. Aberystwyth in Ceredigion (2%), Whitby in North Yorkshire (7%) and Porthmadog in Gwynedd (8%) also achieved small price increases during this time.

Capital growth

The three Kentish coastal areas of Margate, Whitstable and Broadstairs saw the largest capital growth of all UK towns analysed.

Savvy buyers who purchased a home in Margate, the town known for its sandy beach and vintage rides, may have seen their home increase in value by as much as 55%, with Zoopla reporting average prices of £233,345 in 2018 compared to £150,132 in 2013.

Whitstable and Broadstairs also experienced significant five-year price growths of 48% and 47% respectively.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, commented: “According to Zoopla’s data, a property by the coast costs on average £301,855, which is £75,066 more than the average UK. Sailing, surfing, taking in the fresh sea air and enjoying fish and chips or an ice-cream along the promenade are all much-loved British past times for families, young people and downsizers alike.”

“Therefore, it should come as no surprise that demand is pushing up prices, and locations such as Salcombe in Devon and Aldeburgh in Suffolk are achieving premiums of between 86% and 170% compared to the counties in which they reside. The lifestyle benefits associated with living by the seaside come with a significant price tag, yet many are still prepared to pay it.”

Laura Howard, spokesperson of Zoopla, added: “There is a huge variety of price points and locations for house hunters to consider across the coastal homes market. With nearly 8,000 miles of coastline in the UK, those looking for a home by the sea have plenty of choice. Therefore, buyers who are set on this type of property should look to agents who are true specialists in this part of the market to aid their search.

“Those looking for a home with potential for strong capital growth may want to consider the East and South East markets, with towns in Kent, Essex and East Sussex taking the top spots in our ranking of the towns that experienced the greatest capital growth,” she concluded.

Below is the top 10 ranking of the coastal towns which outperform the country in which they reside:

Coastal town


2018 average price (coastal town)

2018 average price (county)

Price premium































Budleigh Salterton










Lyme Regis











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