Sandbanks Most Expensive Seaside Town

The cost of owning a property by the sea has more than doubled in the past decade according to new figures.

House prices in seaside towns in England and Wales have soared by 128% since 2001, with seven out of 10 towns seeing greater increases in property values than for the country as a whole, according to high street bank Halifax.

Wadebridge in Cornwall has seen the biggest gains, with house prices more than tripling in the past 10 years, from an average of £100,406 to £370,902.

It is followed by Maryport in the Lake District, with average property values jumping 192% to £119,604, while in Tenby in Wales they have risen by 186%.

Six of the top 10 seaside towns that have seen the biggest gains since 2001 are in the North or Wales, with three in the South West and one in East Anglia.

But despite this, all of the 10 most expensive seaside towns are in the South West, with Sandbanks in Dorset leading the way, with average property values of £532,652, followed by Padstow in Cornwall at £381,916.

Wadebridge and Fowey, both also in Cornwall, and Lymington in Hampshire, complete the top five most expensive seaside towns.

Outside of southern England, the Mumbles in Swansea has the highest house prices, with homes valued at around £263,494, followed by Tenby at £229,690 and Alnwick in Northumberland at £220,228.

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Halifax, said:

''Seaside towns have always been popular places to live, but they have perhaps become even more so in recent years. This is certainly true if we take house prices as an indicator of desirability.

''Seaside towns have a distinct advantage over urban areas in offering that all important sea view, and they typically have a high quality of life and a healthy environment.

''There is a romance associated with living by the sea and this is evident in the high house prices seen in many of these areas.''

But not all seaside towns command high prices, with properties in Withernsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire valued at an average of just £99,153, while homes in Fleetwood, Lancashire cost only £102,908, and those in the traditional resort of Blackpool average £111,003.

Rhyl has the best seaside bargains in Wales, with house prices of £121,838, while Lowestoft in Suffolk is the cheapest coastal town in southern England at £141,097.