Page last updated at 23:40 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 00:40 UK

North 'cheapest for seaside home'

Wick harbour
Wick came out on top as a cheap place for a sea view

The cheapest place to buy a home by the sea is in the north of Scotland, according to latest property figures.

The Bank of Scotland survey suggests Wick in Caithness has the country's cheapest seaside homes. Prices were about three-times the average salary.

Peterhead and Fraserburgh were also good value, while St Andrews and North Berwick were the most expensive.

Eyemouth in the Borders saw the biggest jump in seaside prices, up 140% from £52,180 to £125,290 in only five years.

1: Wick
2: Girvan
3: Fraserburgh
4: Peterhead
5: Thurso
Source: Bank of Scotland

St Andrews in Fife had the least affordable property, commanding prices of more than 10-times the level of average local pay in the first three months of this year.

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at the Bank of Scotland, said: "Property in many seaside towns continues to trade at a premium compared with Scotland as a whole, due to the desire of many people to live near the coast.

"Living on the coast has many attractions, such as the climate and a high quality of life.

"Housing affordability has improved in most seaside towns since 2007 due to lower house prices and an increase in earnings."

1: St Andrews
2: North Berwick
3: Nairn
4: Dunbar
5: Dalgety Bay
Source: Bank of Scotland

The top 10 most affordable areas - where prices were below four-times the average salary - included Thurso, Fraserburgh and Peterhead.

Other towns deemed "not affordable" by the bank, were North Berwick and Nairn.

The bank also revealed the top 10 greatest coastal house price increases between 2004 and 2009, with Eyemouth heading the list.

Despite featuring in the affordable list, houses in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, increased from £50,323 to £122,520 and Peterhead prices grew from £56,318 to £115,969.

The average house price in Scottish seaside towns was £136,605 compared with £189,210 in England and Wales.

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