North Berwick named top seaside town to set up home

IT WAS once one of the premiere holiday destinations in the country, with thousands flocking from the Capital to relax on its sandy shores.

Monday, 6th May 2019, 6:00 am
North Berwick. Picture: Jon Savage/TSPL

And now, North Berwick has come out on top in a report of the most sought after seaside towns for permanent residents after it was named the most desirable coastal area in Scotland.

Research by Bank of Scotland found the East Lothian town pipped the likes of Stonehaven, Newtonhill and nearby Dunbar as the top places to live on Scotland’s coast.

The report, which assessed changing house prices in coastal areas, found prospective residents would be forced to part with an average of £346,225 for a home in the area - almost £30,000 more than nearest challenger St Andrews.

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North Berwick community councillor Kelly Evans said the thriving community and “small town feel” combined with areas of stunning natural beauty made it a sought after location to call home.

She said: “What makes North Berwick so desirable is how it has maintained the small town feel despite the large development. Everyone who lives and works here has got a huge interest in how the town evolves

“We have a thriving high street and wonderful schools which has helped bring a growing number of young families to the area. We also have beaches on our front doorstep and rolling countryside out the back.

She added: “It is a spectacular piece of the world.”

Dunbar placed fifth among the top ten most desirable coastal locations in the country, ahead of Anstruther and Dalgety Bay in Fife, Inverkip, Helensburgh and popular Highland holiday destination Nairn.

The report also detailed huge increases in average house prices for some of the fastest growing coastal areas, with the typical cost for a family home in Cockenzie rising by almost a third since 2013.

Meanwhile, average prices in Musselburgh, just four miles further up the coast, rose by nearly £40,000 over the five-year period, jumping from £143,966 to 180,221 - a rise of 25 per cent.

The research added a huge disparity between prices on the West and East coasts, with those on the Eastern side over £100,000 more expensive than their Western equivalent.

The cheapest coastal towns to buy property were Port Bannatyne, Campbeltown and Millport - all located on the West coast.

Graham Blair, head of mortgages at Bank of Scotland, said: “Scottish seaside towns are highly popular places to live, offering sought-after scenery, lifestyle and, more often than you might expect, good weather.”

“For anyone looking to move, seaside towns in Scotland provide good value in comparison to seaside towns in other parts of the UK.”

He added: “The continued price growth in Scottish seaside towns overall suggests the popularity of coastal living isn’t wavering.”