North Berwick named as Scotland's most expensive seaside town

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Famed for its stunning coastline and internationally renowned links golf courses, North Berwick has been named as the most expensive seaside town in Scotland to purchase a home.

A new study by lending giant Halifax has revealed the average price paid for a home by the sea in the UK has jumped by more than £22,000.

The findings suggest that the increase in home working during the Covid-19 pandemic has driven more and more people to swap the suburbs or city living for their own coastal paradise.

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According to Halifax, the average value of a British seaside property rose to £287,087 last year, up 8% or £22,082 from 2020.

North Berwick has previously been named as one of the best places to live in ScotlandNorth Berwick has previously been named as one of the best places to live in Scotland
North Berwick has previously been named as one of the best places to live in Scotland

East Lothian’s renowned ‘golf coast’ town, North Berwick, has been officially named as Scotland’s most expensive coastal destination, where an average home costs £391,781

Meanwhile St Andrews – the ‘home of golf’ – is second on the list with an average house costing £374,406.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Campbeltown in Kintyre, which is the least expensive and a buyers pay an average £91,201 for a home.

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However, Millport, on Great Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, has seen the biggest increase in average prices of any coastal town over the past year, up by more than half (53%) from £74,148 to £113,292.

Millport on the isle of Cumbrae: The commute to Glasgow can be done in under an hour.Millport on the isle of Cumbrae: The commute to Glasgow can be done in under an hour.
Millport on the isle of Cumbrae: The commute to Glasgow can be done in under an hour.

The traditional ‘doon the watter’ destination for day-trippers was the study’s least expensive seaside town in 2020 and compares favourably with the Scottish average which in 2021 was £165,960 in 2021, up 14% in the last 5 years

Three areas dominated the 10 most expensive Scottish seaside towns list: East Lothian, Fife and the western coast and islands

Millport saw the greatest annual rise while Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute saw the biggest growth in prices over the last 5 years for the whole UK, up 56% to £111,717. The town also saw Scotland’s biggest rise since 2011, up 74%

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Graham Blair, Mortgages Director, Bank of Scotland, part of the same Lloyds Banking Group as Halifax, said: “Scotland benefits not just from some of the World’s most beautiful coastal scenery, fantastic seafood and links golf that few places can match. Whichever draws you, there is an ideal location within relatively easy reach of our major cities.

“It is easy to understand how North Berwick, with its easy commute to Edinburgh, recent premium developments, being in the heart of the ‘Golf Coast’ and having its own world-class golf courses, stands as Scotland’s most expensive seaside town.

“As our working lives have changed, the attraction of moving to towns like Millport, Helensburgh, and West Kilbride is clear. The lure of sea air, more space for your money than in Glasgow while still being with in relatively easy reach of the city, or the different pace of island living, put these towns on many more people’s list of potential moving locations.”

Sandbanks in Dorset was the UK’s most expensive seaside town, with average prices surging 10% year-on-year to £929,187, the analysis of Land Registry house price data showed.

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It was followed by Salcombe in Devon in second place, down from pole position in 2020, with a typical property costing £912,599, as the South West dominated the ranking.

Last year’s price gains mean properties by the sea have soared by 50% or £95,599 over the past decade, with a 27% leap in the past five years.

Many Britons have looked to buy in more remote locations and move away from cities in the past two years as the pandemic saw a shift towards working from home.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “Our ongoing love affair with living by the sea shows few signs of abating.

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“Homes on the coast have long attracted a premium price, and this was no different in 2021, with the move towards working from home being an ongoing influence on where people choose to live.

“Whether it’s a lifestyle sought, the scenery or the sea air, when it comes to buying homes, we really do love to be beside the seaside.”

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