House prices in seaside locations have doubled in last 10 years
House prices in seaside towns have doubled over the last decade with eight of the top ten most expensive coastal places to live being here in the Westcounty.
According to new figures, the Cornish tourist hotspots of Wadebridge and Padstow have seen some of the steepest rises in the country with house prices rocketing more than 170%.
Picturesque Salcombe, in the South Hams, tops the list of the priciest coastal places to live with typical homes there costing a cool £529,000 on average.
Around seven homes in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland, the least expensive seaside town, could be bought for this sum.
The figures come from the Halifax which found that since 2002, prices have more than doubled in around half of seaside towns in England and Wales.
Frith Chadwick, director at Charles Head estate agents, which has a branch in Salcombe, said many homes in the town were well above the million pound mark.
She said "A lot of property here is second homes and they tend to be in their own little market bubble.
"Having said that there's a lovely year-round community here and the area is very desirable because of that.
"But we have sold a few as permanent properties under half a million pounds, around the £300,000 mark, so they do come onto the market, although they are less than 10 per cent of our business."
Eight locations on the list of most expensive places to live are in the South West, with Sandbanks at Poole in Dorset coming second, followed by Padstow, Dartmouth, Lyme Regis, Wadebridge, Budleigh Salterton and Bigbury-on-Sea.
Matthew Rowe, from Savills estate agents in Truro, said even in the current market conditions coastal properties were highly desirable – but buyers were being discerning.
He said: "It is a price sensitive market, people want to see value for money on their purchase but the buyers are still out there.
"We have recently sold a couple of properties near Rock with very good figures achieved.
"We are not generally seeing prices going up at the moment but we are seeing a strong market for buyers if the price is right.
"A three-bedroom cottage in Flushing sold for over its asking price recently and a much larger property on the waterfront, which was on for £1.75 million, found a buyer," he said.
In terms of the largest percentage rises, Seaham, in County Durham, with its dramatic clifftop coastline, saw the biggest jump, with a 183% increase taking typical house prices to nearly £109,000 by 2012.
Wadebridge and Padstow were next with average properties there coming in at £348,000 and £382,000 respectively, the latter town having seen its profile rise due to its associations with popular TV chef and restaurateur Rick Stein.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, all but two of the top 10 most expensive seaside towns are in the South West and the 10 cheapest are in the north.
Among the most expensive coastal properties on the market in Cornwall is a seven-bedroom home near Falmouth on for £3.8 million.
A modern property further up the coast at St Mawes is going for £3.75 million and a home overlooking Daymer Bay in North Cornwall, again is priced at over £3 million.
Across the Tamar in Devon a 16-bedroom Georgian house at Mamhead, with views along the East Devon coast, has a price tag of £8 million while a luxurious waterfront Arts and Crafts house at South Pool, near Salcombe, is on for £4 million.
There are only two properties on the market in Salcombe for under £200,000 and both are flats.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax said: "Seaside living often comes with 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."
The Halifax used Land Registry figures to compile the study.