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Where are the cheapest places to live by the sea in the UK?

Ever dreamed of living by the sea but been put off by the potentially expensive price tag? 

You may not be aware, but there are a lot of affordable UK coastal towns that are worth considering. 

We’ll reveal the top eight most affordable places to live by the sea based on research by Zoopla.  

Summary 

  • Many people keen to live by the sea may be deterred by potentially higher house prices.  

  • Zoopla has revealed the top eight cheapest places to live by the sea in the UK. 

  • This is based on the joint income required to buy a property in these areas. 

  • Contact a mortgage broker to help you find the best deal for your circumstances.  

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Zoopla has compiled a list of the cheapest places to live by the sea in the UK, which is based on the joint income required to buy a property in these areas.  

The average couple spends 3.8 times their combined salary on a home, but for the areas below, you’ll spend (at most) 1.9 times your salary.

This 50% reduction in costs means it’s cheaper to get on the property ladder in these coastal locations.  

We’ll now run through the most affordable coastal towns, which are ranked by the affordability ratio (how many times a couple’s joint annual salary goes into the price of a house in that local area). 

The top eight cheapest coastal locations 

Area 

Affordability ratio 

Median home value 

A couple’s average salary 

Hartlepool, County Durham 

1.61 

£106,340 

£66,175 

Blyth, Northumberland 

1.67 

£116,195 

£69,612 

Seaham, County Durham 

1.67 

£109,370 

£65,438 

Maryport, Cumbria 

1.72 

£124,460 

£72,398 

Fleetwood, Lancashire 

1.84 

£133,145 

£72,398 

Whitehaven, Cumbria 

1.84 

£133,145 

£72,398 

Sunderland, Tyne & Wear 

1.9 

£117,870 

£62,171 

South Shields, Tyne & Wear 

1.9 

£121,730 

£64,050 

Over half of the most affordable coastal towns are in the North East, specifically County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear.  

The areas requiring the highest joint salary on average, £72,398, are located in Cumbria and Lancashire. 

1. Hartlepool, County Durham 

With an affordability ratio of only 1.61, Hartlepool tops the list as the cheapest place to live by the sea.  

Properties in the seaside town have a median value of £106,340, which is the lowest on this list. 

There’s a lot to do in Hartlepool, including exploring Teesmouth National Nature Reserve, Steetley Pier, Crimdon Dene Beach and the marina.  

Hartlepool is only half an hour away from Sunderland and under an hour away from Newcastle by public transport. 

2. Blyth, Northumberland 

Next up is Blyth, with an affordability ratio of 1.67 and a median property value of £116,195. 

Blyth features brightly coloured beach huts and has many attractions, including a working historic port, Ridley Park, a lighthouse and a beach. 

The seaside town is less than an hour from Newcastle by public transport. 

3. Seaham, County Durham 

In joint second place is Seaham, with the same affordability ratio of 1.67 as Blyth.  

However, the median property value and average joint salary needed to buy a property are slightly lower in comparison.  

The harbour town has many family-friendly attractions such as North Beach, Harbour Marina and Dalton Park, the biggest outlet shopping centre in the North East. 

Seaham is only 10 minutes from Sunderland and over an hour from Durham by public transport.   

4. Maryport, Cumbria 

Maryport has an affordability ratio of 1.72 and a median property value of £124,460. 

Originally a small fishing village, Maryport has developed a lot since the 18th century. The harbour town boasts many attractions, including many museums, an aquarium and a fitness centre. 

Maryport is also only a 20-minute drive from the Lake District National Park. 

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5. Fleetwood, Lancashire 

Fleetwood is next on this list, with an affordability ratio of 1.84 and a median property value of £133,145. 

The Victorian seaside resort has benefitted from a recent multi-million-pound renovation. Among the many attractions are Fleetwood Beach, a discount shopping village and an art deco theatre.   

Fleetwood is around an hour from Blackpool by public transport and around an hour and 20 minutes away from Preston.  

6. Whitehaven, Cumbria 

Like Fleetwood, Whitehaven has an affordability ratio of 1.84 and a median property value of £133,145. 

The town, which was once home to the third largest maritime port in the UK, features the beautiful Whitehaven Coast and is only a half-hour drive from the Lake District. 

7. Sunderland, Tyne & Wear 

Sunderland has an affordability ratio of 1.9 and a median property price of £117,870. 

With family-friendly attractions such as parks, museums and beaches, there’s a lot to enjoy.  

Newcastle is only a 25-minute journey by public transport and a 90-minute journey from York.  

8. South Shields, Tyne & Wear 

Only a 25-minute drive from Sunderland is South Shields, which has the same affordability ratio of 1.9 but a slightly higher median house price of £121,730. 

The coastal town offers much to explore, including parks, beaches and Ocean Beach Pleasure Park. 

South Shields is 40 minutes from Newcastle by public transport. 

Want help getting on the property ladder? 

If you’ve found your dream home (or are searching for one), it’s also worth looking into the best mortgage for you. 

Unbiased can quickly connect you to a qualified mortgage broker who can find the most competitive mortgage based on your unique circumstances. 

Get mortgage advice
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About the author
Lisa-Marie Voneshen is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content across various areas, including personal finance and investing.