North Coast shines for quality of life and affordability

Many of the highest ranked seaside towns also have the most expensive houses. Nine of the ten most expensive seaside towns feature among the 35 seaside towns with the highest quality of life.

Sandbanks in Dorset is the most expensive seaside town with an average house price of £544,951 followed by Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire (£334,717) and Lyme Regis in Dorset (£308,063).

A good quality of life does not always come with high property prices. The five best value seaside towns – towns offering the combination of relatively low house prices (in the ten least expensive towns) and a high ranking for quality of life (in the top 35) – are the three east Yorkshire coast towns of Withernsea, Hornsea and Bridlington along with the Scottish seaside towns of Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

Five seaside towns in southern England also provide good value for money with relatively low property prices (in the twenty least expensive towns) and a ranking in the top 35 for quality of life. Three are in the South East – Dover, Newhaven and Folkstone – together with the South West towns of Burnham on Sea and Weston Super Mare.

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Halifax, commented:

"A breath of fresh sea air coupled with great scenery has strong appeal for homeowners and often property in coastal areas has a hefty price tag attached to it. Our research demonstrates that for homebuyers who dream of ‘being beside the seaside’ there are good value hotspots where you don’t compromise on the standard of living. Towns in Yorkshire and Scotland have rated highly on our ‘quality of life’ index and have reasonable prices that are affordable on local incomes.

“Many seaside towns, particularly in the South West, offer an excellent quality of life but with house prices to match. Despite house price falls between 2007 and 2009 in all but four seaside towns across the UK, the South West remains the most unaffordable region. Millionaire’s playground Sandbanks is the most unaffordable seaside town but is balanced by residents having a high quality of life.

“Occupying the top spot for quality of life is Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, which not only provides residents with four more hours sunshine a week to enjoy the beach life, but also higher than average employment and earnings, and good health and life expectancy.”

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