A tale of two coastlines

by Mark Hordern, GSPC

06 March 2015

Scotland's seaside towns have seen some of the highest increases in average selling prices over the last ten years according to a new report from the Bank of Scotland. Indeed, Scottish costal locations have seen more substantial rises in price that the average for coastal towns across the UK, recording a rise of 38% over the period compared to the 31% average across the UK.

But the bank acknowledges that much of the gain is in east coast towns influenced by the oil boom in and around Aberdeen. Bank of Scotland housing economist Nitesh Patel points out that Aberdeenshire has benefited hugely from wider economic factors: "The boom in the Scottish oil sector provided a boost to house prices, particularly in several towns along the Aberdeenshire coastline."

It is no surprise then that Fraserburgh and Peterhead top the league of towns that have seen the highest rise in prices. Fraserburgh's 109 per cent increase leads the way, and property here now costs an average of £132,920.

Lerwick in the Shetland Isles, which is also influenced by the oil boom, also recorded a significant rise in prices, up 102% from £77,513 in December 2005 to £156,286 in December 2014.

Although nine of the ten most expensive seaside towns in Scotland are situated on the east coast, not all of them are associated with oil. St Andrews is currently the most expensive coastal town with average prices of £294,586, while North Berwick's figures are only a few hundred pounds lower.

By contrast, eight of the ten cheapest towns can be found along the west coast, with Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute seeing average selling prices last year of just £73,539. The cheapest mainland seaside town in Scotland was Campbeltown in Argyll, where a property will typically set you back £85,659. The south-west conurbations of Stranraer and Girvan joined the north coast towns of Thurso and Wick in having average prices of £90,000 or less. The only west coast town to feature in the top 10 in terms of price in Inverkip.

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