A world apart

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There is a marked East-West divide in house prices in Scottish seaside towns.

But with seven of the 10 most expensive towns on the eastern coastline even a few miles can make a huge different, with Crail and Buckhaven at oppositve ends of the scale.

According to the latest research from the Bank of Scotland, North Berwick is the most expensive seaside town in Scotland with an average house price of £309,676.

St Andrews is second with an average price of £277,344, followed by Crail (£209,688) and Stonehaven (£197,530). Lundin Links lies seventh in the top 10 with an average price of £186,613.

On the other hand, six of the 10 least expensive seaside towns are in western Scotland. They include Greenock (£85,212), Girvan (£85,961), Irvine (£89,727) and Ardrossan (£91,052).

However, the least expensive seaside town in Scotland is Buckhaven on the east coast with an average house price of £68,350.

Leven came in ninth in the table with £95,841 being the average price.

Since house prices peaked in 2007, the number of affordable seaside towns in Scotland has more than doubled, according to the research.

In 2011 there were calculated to be 28 towns where average house prices were deemed to be affordable to those on average earnings, compared to just 11 in 2007.

However, in general, seaside towns remain less affordable than in 2004 when 39 towns were affordable – a third more than today.

Buckhaven, as the most affordable, has house prices, on average, 2.3 times the local gross annual earnings. Buckhynd is followed by Girvan (2.6) and Greenock (2.9) and Leven (3.3).

The least affordable towns are St Andrews (9.4) and North Berwick (8.9) while not far behind are Crail (7.1) and Lundin Links (6.4).

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “Seaside towns are still very popular places to live.

“They offer a unique lifestyle that for many can’t be matched elsewhere, with that all important sea view, together with a typically high quality of life and a healthy environment.

Over half of the seaside towns in this survey have seen house price growth ahead of the whole of Scotland since 2007, with most of the large increases coming in towns on the north east coast.”

Macduff and Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire recorded the biggest rises over the past eight years with the average house price increasing in both by 123 per cent.

The average price in Macduff is now £130,025 and £119,425 in Fraserburgh. Cove Bay in Aberdeen recorded the next largest rise with an increase of 105 per cent during the same period.

A further 18 coastal towns recorded price increases of at least 50 per cent.

They include Montrose (82 per cent), Campbeltown (80 per cent), Peterhead and Banff (both 79 per cent). Since 2004, the average house price in seaside towns rose by 36 per cent; slightly lower than the 38 per cent increase in the whole of Scotland.