Sandbanks in Poole has been crowned Britain’s most expensive seaside town for the third year in a row – despite average house prices there having dipped by nearly £37,500 over the past year.
Home buyers in the glamorous location of Sandbanks face paying £626,553 on average, according to Halifax’s annual seaside town review, which tracks house price movements in 193 seaside towns across Britain.
But the report suggested stamp duty costs may have helped to put the brakes on house price growth in some of the country’s most desirable coastal areas.
A stamp duty price hike was introduced for second homes in 2016.
Despite holding onto the top spot, the average house price in Sandbanks has dipped by £37,494 compared with a year earlier.
Salcombe in Devon, which is Britain’s second priciest seaside town, has also experienced a house price dip. The average property in Salcombe costs £577,591 – £52,702 less than a year ago.
Sandbanks and Salcombe are the only seaside towns in the top 10 to have seen property values fall compared with a year earlier.
Aldeburgh in Suffolk is in third place, with an average property price tag of £535,872.
The 10 most expensive seaside towns identified in the study are all in southern England, with Lymington, Padstow, Dartmouth, East Wittering, Fowey and Budleigh Salterton also making the list.
Home buyers searching for a coastal retreat where their cash may go further may want to consider Millport in Scotland, which was identified as Britain’s least expensive seaside town with an average house price tag of £81,233.
Millport gets 26 hours of sunshine a week on average, compared with 33 hours typically in Sandbanks and 31 hours in Salcombe, according to the report, which used figures from the Land Registry, Registers of Scotland and the Met Office.
Scotland dominates the list of the least expensive seaside towns, with Girvan, Saltcoats, Irvine, Greenock and Ardrossan also in the top 10.
Nestled in Northumberland, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is also on the list of least expensive seaside towns, with an average house price of £94,385 – the only place in England to feature on the top 10 list of the least expensive coastal areas.
Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, said: “It’s no surprise that the South coast continues to be home to the most expensive seaside towns in the country, including those with the greatest growth in house prices over the last 10 years.
“What we can see though is that the two most desirable locations have in fact seen prices drop over the last year.
“This fall is likely to have been impacted by the higher costs of stamp duty for these more expensive homes.”
Here are the most expensive seaside towns in Britain, according to Halifax, with the average house price:
1. Sandbanks, South West, £626,553
2. Salcombe, South West, £577,591
3. Aldeburgh, East Anglia, £535,872
4. Lymington, South East, £487,143
5. Padstow, South West, £435,833
6. Dartmouth, South West, £431,539
7. East Wittering, South East, £414,005
8. Fowey, South West, £403,622
9. Lyme Regis, South West, £397,584
10. Budleigh Salterton, South West, £396,034
And Britain’s least expensive seaside towns, according to Halifax, with the average house price:
1. Millport, Scotland, £81,233
2. Girvan, Scotland, £91,459
3. Saltcoats, Scotland, £92,891
4. Wick, Scotland, £93,487
5. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, North East, £94,385
6. Irvine, Scotland, £97,727
7. Greenock, Scotland, £98,203
8. Ardrossan, Scotland, £100,496
9. Port Bannatyne, Scotland, £101,094
10. Dunoon, Scotland, £101,118