Girvan is now ‘less affordable’ seaside town to live in

The coastal town of Buckhaven on the east coast of Fife is the most affordable seaside town in Scotland based on the average house price to earnings ratio, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Seaside Towns Review.

House prices in Buckhaven are, on average, 2.2 times local average earnings. Buckhaven is followed by Port Bannatyne (2.56) and last year’s winner, Girvan (2.62). Buckhaven is also the least expensive seaside town with an average price of £64,855 in 2010. The next least expensive towns are Port Bannatyne (£73,351) and Girvan (£83,199). Fourteen towns in this survey have an average price of less than £100,000. St Andrews is again the least affordable seaside town; average house prices are 10.45 times local average earnings. North Berwick (8.67) is the next least affordable seaside town, followed by Crail (7.97). (Table 2)

North Berwick is also the most expensive seaside town in Scotland with an average house price of £305,691. North Berwick is followed by St. Andrews where the average price is £299,606 and Newburgh in Aberdeenshire (£268,297).

Newburgh also recorded the largest increase in house prices between 2005 and 2010.

Average house prices in this seaside town on the north east coast increased by 104% during the period to £268,287. The next largest gains were in Banff (84%) and Cruden Bay (73%). Fifteen towns recorded price increases of at least 50% between 2005 and 2010. (Table 5)

House prices increased by 32% in Scottish seaside towns between 2005 and 2010, outpacing the 28% rise in Scotland as a whole.

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland, comments: “Scotland’s 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. Over the past five years, the average house price in Scottish seaside towns has risen at a faster rate than for all properties in Scotland generally.

The average price in the coastal village of Newburgh more than doubled in five years, whilst several others saw at least a 50% increase.”

The house price earnings ratio is calculated by dividing the average house price by annual average earnings for all full time employees.

A town is classified as affordable if the average house price is lower than the price someone on average earnings in the area can pay based on the historical average house price to earnings ratio of 4.0.