Property Investment

Revealed: Britain’s Most Expensive and Affordable Seaside Towns

Whether it’s the promise of lucrative rental income from holidaymakers seeking short-term stays to the appeal of long-term rental contracts from those looking for a lifestyle change, coastal properties continue to be a compelling investment choice for UK investors.

With the average coastal property now costing £293,710, new research has uncovered Britain’s most and least expensive coastal towns. The comprehensive review tracked house price movements in 198 coastal locations across Great Britain providing valuable insights for investors.

Britain’s most expensive coastal locations 

The research has revealed that Salcombe in Devon has retained its position as the most expensive place in Britain to buy a seaside property. According to the latest analysis from Lloyds Bank, properties in the picturesque town, known for its breathtaking views of the Kingsbridge estuary, now cost £970,657 on average, which despite being the most expensive average price for a coastal location is down -22 per cent (or £270,641 in cash terms) compared to 2022 prices (of over £1.2 million).

Close on its heels is Sandbanks in Dorset, famous for its luxurious, beachside homes and celebrity residents, which boasts an average price tag of £957,739.

Padstow in Cornwall, with its renowned Seafood Restaurant by Rick Stein, makes up the top three most expensive seaside towns, with average property prices of £701,979.

Lymington, Dartmouth, Wadebridge, Lyme Regis, St. Ives, Budleigh, Salterton and Kingsbridge make up the top ten with the data showing all but one of the most expensive coastal towns are in the south-west. Lyme Regis in Dorset and St Ives in Cornwall entered the top 10 most expensive coastal locations list in 2023, with average property prices of over £500,000 in both areas.

Table 1: Britain’s most expensive coastal locations

One St Ives resident explains their love of the area. Amy Capon, 47, said: “We always dreamed of moving to the coast after spending many happy holidays in Cornwall and, in 2020, we took the leap and turned that into a reality. Although daunting at first – with our son Harris having to leave his old school and friends behind and all of us not being close to family and a support network – we’ve never looked back.

“Moving to a more chilled, relaxed life by the sea meant we were able to add to our family with our cockapoo Skye, who loves walking on the white sandy beaches in sunshine or rain. We’ve never looked back and love we get to call St Ives our home.”

Britain’s least expensive coastal locations

While the most expensive coastal locations are all in the south, all 10 of the most affordable British coastal locations are in Scotland. Rothesay on the Isle of Bute takes the crown as the most affordable coastal location, with properties averaging just £101,477. Other budget-friendly spots include Greenock (£107,111) and Girvan (£107,349), offering investors and occupants the chance to enjoy coastal living without the high costs. Millport, Saltcoats, Campbeltown, Ardrossan, Port Bannatyne, Stranraer and Fraserburgh make up the top ten list of Britain’s least expensive coastal locales.

Table 2: Britain’s least expensive coastal locations

When looking at the seaside towns with the largest year-on-year growth, The Lloyds Bank Coastal Homes Review found that coastal properties in Invergordon, Scotland rose by the highest percentage (+34%) from 2022-2023 followed by Menai Bridge in Wales (+28%) and Burntisland in Scotland (+18%).

Table 3: Biggest price increases in coastal locations 2022 vs 2023

Source: Land Registry (E&W) and ROS (Scotland) – house price data 12 months to December 2022 and 2023

The research also found that over the past decade, coastal properties in Margate in the South East and Amlwch in Wales have more than doubled to £309,049 and £255,189 respectively.

Amanda Bryden, Head of Mortgages, Lloyds Bank, said: “Sea views, sandy beaches, brisk morning dips – it’s easy to see why coastal living is so desirable. Our data shows the most sought-after coastal locations in the country can attract average price tags of close to a million pounds – with in demand properties often going for much more.

The research highlights that there are numerous options for investors seeking more affordable properties by the sea, particularly in the north. However, if you are looking to invest in more exclusive areas in the south, there may be some bargains to be had compared to 2022 prices.







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Alex Wright, Editor