July 31 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Already a haven for wealthy holiday makers, one of Suffolk’s premier resorts has cemented its place among the country’s most exclusive seaside towns.
Property prices in Aldeburgh have risen by a quarter in last five years, and almost doubled over the last decade, according to the Halifax.
It’s one of only two towns among the 10 most expensive not located in the south west corner of the country.
Property experts said they were not surprised by its high prices, with the market driven by wealthy buyers looking for idyllic holiday homes.
Peter Watson, of Suffolk estate agent Flick & Son, which has offices in Aldeburgh, Saxmundham, Southwold, Halesworth and Leiston, said: “There is always a very small housing stock compared to the number of people who want to buy.
“It’s always difficult to come up with an average, but the starting point for a cottage of the periphery of Aldeburgh is between £175,00 and £200,000.
“If you have the money to buy one of the more expensive properties, you can expect to pay as much as £2million.
“The seller’s expectations can often be slightly ahead of where the market is, but if the agent and owner are of a single mind, the property will walk out quite quickly.”
According to the Halifax, the most dramatic increases were in Scotland, with Fraserburgh, at the tip of Aberdeenshire, seeing a 141% rise in prices.
But, south of the border, Aldeburgh has seen the best performance, with average property values up 95% in a decade, to £446,576 in 2014.
Salcombe, in south Devon, led the way for average property values of £615,344, followed by Sandbanks, in Dorset, at £574,089.
The high prices in Aldeburgh are often paid by second homeowners and affluent visitors from London. Earlier in the week, this paper reported on the influence of Londoners on demand for “retail and leisure” offerings in towns like Southwold and Aldeburgh.
Mr Watson said: “The wider market is obviously being influenced by changes to mortgage lending, but not so much on the coast, where you’re generally dealing with second home owners.
“The viability of places like Aldeburgh relies on people having second homes and holiday homes.”
But, while Aldeburgh continues to dominate the top end of the market, not all seaside towns command high prices. Lowestoft is among the cheaper coastal towns in southern England in which to buy, with a three-bed terrace currently starting at about £75,000, compared to a similar property in Aldeburgh High Street on market at £499,000.
Sean Humfrey, of Jennie Jones estate agents, with offices in Aldeburgh, Southwold and Saxmundham, said: “One of the reasons for Aldeburgh’s staying power is actually its lack of available property. It’s a town with its back to the sea, so there is a limit to where new homes can be built.
“There will always be that balance of supply and demand, with more people wanting to move in than leave.”