Seaside towns among 50 richest in UK

TWO Suffolk seaside towns, renowned for their beauty and rich and famous residents, are among the top 50 most expensive places to live in the country. Southwold and Aldeburgh, both popular with second home owners, have made it onto the Rich Towns list, compiled by estate agent Savills.

Mark Lord

TWO Suffolk seaside towns, renowned for their beauty and rich and famous residents, are among the top 50 most expensive places to live in the country.

Southwold and Aldeburgh, both popular with second home owners, have made it onto the Rich Towns list, compiled by estate agent Savills.

Apparently average property prices in Southwold, which is situated at number 41 in the table, are £321,813 and in Aldeburgh, which comes in at number 44, prices average £318,954.

But for the towns' mayor's the popularity of the idyllic towns is not always something to be celebrated.

The hefty price tag and the fact few houses every come on the market is forcing many locals to move away.

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Southwold's mayor Teresa Baggott said: “Southwold's popularity can be seen two ways - one it's a compliment that people want to own a property in our town, but on the other hand it's heartbreaking for the families that have always lived here and want to stay but can't due to the ridiculously high prices.”

She claims approximately 40% of Southwold homes are owned by second home owners, with the majority renting them out for holiday or private rental use.

“The young people of the town cannot even afford the rents as these are even commanding amounts which are out of reach for the average wage earner. It's a sad situation for the few remaining locals who have to see their children struggle to stay in Southwold, for most they have no option but to move away.”

These sentiments are echoed by Aldeburgh mayor Hugo Herbert-Jones who said that most local young people are unable to afford a first home in the town and have to move to where house prices are cheaper such as Leiston and Saxmundham.

“We (the town council) are working with Flagship Housing to create three new affordable housing schemes which will hopefully address some of these problems,” he added.

The Rich Towns list, published in the Telegraph last Saturday, shows the flow of property wealth through the country, and the popularity of the towns. The list demonstrates how commuters willing to pay high prices for a new life in the country have caused property prices to rise greatly.

Ingatestone and Brentwood in Essex also make the list.

Crispin Holborrow, head of country houses at Savills, said: “People are fleeing areas wrecked by new developments. Those who have been successful in the city realise that, with new technology, they can move to a new town and be just as successful.”

The Top Ten features:

1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire - average property £684, 474.

2. Gerrards Cross/Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire - average property £663, 959.

3. Amersham, Buckinghamshire - average property £545, 097.

4. Ascot, Berkshire - average property £525, 335.

5. Lyndhurst, Hampshire - average property £515, 803.

6. Salcombe, Devon - average property £503, 796.

7. Brockenhurst, Hampshire - average property £496, 263.

8. Harpenden, Hertfordshire - average property £491,868.

9. Alderley Edge, Cheshire - average property £481,104.

10. Sevenoaks, Kent - average property £468,799.