North Berwick tops list as most expensive Scots coastal town

North Berwick, now the most expensive seaside town. Picture: Alljengl
North Berwick, now the most expensive seaside town. Picture: Alljengl

House prices in the East Lothian town increased by 11 per cent from £294,076 in 2014, according to the annual Bank of Scotland Seaside Town Review.

The rise puts it back on top after selling prices in St Andrews edged slightly ahead in 2014 but grew less last year to an average of £302,536.

The north east accounted for the next three dearest, with Newtonhill, Stonehaven and Cove Bay, followed by Dunbar in East Lothian, Inverkip in Inverclyde, West Kilbride in North Ayrshire and Nairn.

The least expensive seaside towns were Port Bannatyne on Bute, Girvan, Campbeltown, Saltcoats, Stranraer, Invergordon in Easter Ross, Millport on Cumbrae, Rothesay, Thurso and Greenock.

Bank of Scotland mortgage director Nicola Noble said: “Living on the coast offers many attractions, including a typically high-quality of life and attractive surroundings.

“As a result, property in seaside towns is often very popular with homebuyers.”

A property expert said the quality of North Berwick High School was a key draw for house-hunting families.

Faisal Choudhry, head of research in Scotland for estate agents Savills, said: “North Berwick has one of the top-performing state schools, which is always going to be a major attraction that lifts the market.

“Its proximity to Edinburgh with a good train link is another factor, along with leisure activities on the East Lothian coast such as golf.

“The town’s setting pulls in a lot of buyers from Edinburgh, where family homes in the city centre are much more expensive.”

The survey, based on official house price data from Registers of Scotland, also showed six Aberdeenshire towns recorded among the biggest price increases since 2005, topped by Fraserburgh with a 139 per cent rise to an average of £151,719.

Lerwick in Shetland was second, with prices more than doubling to £159,325.

Lossiemouth in Moray saw the largest annual increase last year, of 18 per cent to £118,330.