7 secret coastal winter hotspots for homebuyers

7 secret coastal winter hotspots for homebuyers

A home haven that’s an escape from the maddening crowds...

The great British seaside. With its white-sand beaches, craggy cliffs, lonely lighthouses and squawking seagulls nicking your chips, it's a feast for the eyes - and for the soul.

The coastlines of Wales, Scotland and many parts of England are attracting lots of interest at the moment - both from holidaymakers, and those of us looking to make Britain’s waterside havens a more permanent home. 

Coastal properties have grown in popularity this year - with those having good access to a beach featuring high on buyer wishlists. From the English Riviera in the south to the tiny fishing villages of the north, we take a look at some of the UK’s secret seaside spots. 

If a day at the beach is one of the joys of a British summer, why not guarantee yourself that feeling by moving to the coast permanently? Here are some of the best places to do it...

North Berwick, Scotland 

Often regarded as one of the most desirable places to live in Scotland, North Berwick is positioned on the shores of the Firth of Forth in East Lothian. It’s stunning. A Victorian seaside resort with long sandy beaches, a bustling high street and a quaint harbour. As well as waters that are home to harbour seals and dolphins, you have access to great schools and an easy commute to Edinburgh. According to Rightmove, properties here have an overall average price of £434,243, up 4% from the previous year. Our latest article explains the recent house price trends in more detail...

Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire

Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a stunning seaside town on the North East coast of England. Loved by surfers and families alike, Saltburn is home to Britain’s oldest water-balanced cliff tramway, which runs from the pier up to the quaint town centre. As with many seaside resorts up north, this sandy enclave is chock-full of fish and chip shops, serving up sumptuously good food. Some say Saltburn is home to the best chippies in the UK. Perhaps even the world. The constant queues certainly suggest so. The majority of sales in Saltburn-by-the-Sea during the last year were terraced properties, selling for an average price of £189,636. Flats sold for an average of £126,685, with semi-detached properties fetching £204,992. Saltburn has an overall average price of £192,189.

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Isle of Arran, Ayrshire

The thought of living on a remote island has probably appealed to many of us over the past 12 months, and the rugged beauty of the Isle of Arran is certainly appealing to potential buyers. Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde and has been described as ‘Scotland in Miniature’. Whether you’re pulling on the hiking boots or jumping on a bicycle, there’s so much to see and do in this beautiful part of the UK. The island has a mix of traditional villa-style homes, farmhouses and bungalows, with an average asking price of £266,792.

Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

If you’re looking for a harbour haven, the one to watch on the Pembrokeshire coast is Saundersfoot, which is undergoing a £4 million harbour redevelopment. This money will go towards improving the marine facilities, but the long-term plan is for the town to become an international destination for tourism. As of August 2021, the average house price in Saundersfoot sits at £280,271, rising 14% over the last 12 months. 

Ilfracombe, Devon

Ilfracombe offers freedom. Homes here are a fraction of the price of other areas of Devon. A home in Salcombe could set you back £735,000 as of July of this year, whereas Ilfracombe comes in with an average asking price of 203,620. Its pastel-coloured cottages cascade down to meet a curving claw of a harbour. You’ll find a 14th-century chapel perched on Lantern Hill and Damien Hirst’s famous statue Verity, overlooking the town. If you'd like to learn more about property hotspots for 2021, we've gone into detail here.

Sandbanks, Dorset

The south coast’s answer to Barbados, this haven is frequently included in league tables of the world’s most expensive real estate. Big-spending aside, Sandbanks is stunning. It’s exclusive and it’s secluded. That’s what makes it so desirable. There’s a powder-white beach, boasting some excellent eateries, watersports galore and impossibly beautiful ocean views. Locals refer to Sandbanks as “the village”, and house prices here have reached an eye-watering £1,317,644, up 4.37% compared to last year. 

Largs, Ayrshire

Largs is a seaside town on the North Ayrshire coast, just over 30 miles from Glasgow. It’s a postcard-perfect place, where a retro Victorian promenade meets the sparkling water of the Firth of Clyde. If you're looking for a real secret coastal hotspot, this is it. There are also a good range of shops, schools and parks in the area - plus homes here are a fraction of the price of the city. According to Rightmove, homes here had an overall average asking price of £143,073.

Why are seaside towns so popular?

The average price of a property in a British seaside town is now £265,978, a leap of 10% - or over £24,000 - in just 12 months*. Properties in seaside towns often come at a premium because of their desired location. But, like the rest of the housing market, there still seems to be a north-south divide. The coast offers wildly different property prices; some of the most expensive places to live include coastal areas Sandbanks and Salcombe, whilst other coastal havens offer seaside living at a fraction of the price. 

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