At Parkdean Resorts, we’ve created the Holiday Home Report delving into the best places to buy a holiday home at the seaside across both the UK and the world. But, are the perks worth the price?
Buying a holiday home can be a tempting offer for those with the available funds, especially when it sits by the coast. With stunning views, exhilarating walks and golden sands right on your doorstep, a holiday home can unlock the kind of things your permanent residence just can’t.
At Parkdean Resorts, we know more than our fair share about seaside holidays and accommodation. We wanted to see whether it was worth investing in a new brick-and-mortar home by the coast, or whether you’d be better off buying a static caravan on a holiday park that you can visit throughout the season.
With this in mind, we’ve created the Seaside Holiday Home Report, ranking every seaside resort throughout the UK and elsewhere around the world to see which option is best for sun, sand and sea.
Static holiday homes vs. second houses
When it comes to buying a second home, you’ve got big decisions to make. While the appeal of having a place by the sea you can get away to again and again might be tempting, are you willing to spend that long away from your friends and family, and can you really afford the financial commitments?
A second house might be the first thing you think about, but it can be incredibly expensive and soon start to eat up any savings. If you were imagining spending your holidays eating out and enjoying yourself, the reality could be more like paying for repairs and bills for a place you’re not spending too much time in. They can also pose ethical concerns - could that holiday home be better used as a permanent residence for someone else? Will it be left empty throughout the year, potentially harming the local economy?
For others, the idea of spending that amount of time away from their family and friends can be too much. Instead, they’d prefer to go down the popular route of buying a static caravan on a holiday park, somewhere they can keep going back to throughout the year. A holiday home gives the freedom and flexibility to holiday when you want in a place you know well, without any of the ethical issues or hidden bills that come with a brick-and-mortar second home.
The UK's top seaside resorts to buy a holiday home
Utilising data from Numbeo and Gov.uk, we’ve analysed 64 UK seaside resorts to reveal the UK’s top seaside holiday home spots. Each resort has been ranked on these factors:
- The average house price
- Crime rate
- ONS happiness score
- Most popular searched for locations
Swansea ranks as the top seaside town for holiday home buying
The Welsh city of Swansea could be the perfect spot to buy a holiday home in the UK. It offers a relatively low average house price of £146,657, meaning buying a second home by the coast could be an affordable option. It also boasts great health rates, with 78% of people there reported to be in good or very good health.
Our Trecco Bay Holiday Park, just half an hour down the road from Swansea, offers caravans for sale from only £25,495, ranging up to £98,995 for the luxurious Willerby, Vogue Classique. If holidaying in Wales is what you’re looking for, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find it. While a second brick-and-mortar home might seem ideal, it also comes with additional costs such as council tax, something you don’t have to pay at a holiday lodge or static caravan that you can visit throughout the season, although a pitch fee still applies.
Swansea beat off stiff competition from classic seaside resorts such as Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough to take the top spot as the best place to buy a holiday home in the UK.
Plymouth, a popular seaside town in Devon, came in second place. Average house prices here are much more than other seaside resorts, with homes coming in at a whopping £267,110 - over £100,000 more than its table-topping rival - that’s a lot to spend on a holiday home.
However, while it might impact your financial well-being, health levels are high, 79% of locals are in good health, making the most of all the benefits of sea air.
If you’re looking for a potentially more affordable way to soak up the Plymouth sun, you’ll find plenty at our Challaborough Bay Holiday Park. With static caravans starting at £44,995 and the top-spec ABI, Ambleside coming in at £84,995, you could save thousands and stay as often as you like throughout the season.
In third place is Lytham St Annes. A classic seaside resort on the coast of Lancashire, it offers a great social life for the older holidaymaker, with over 253,000 retirees calling it home.
Lytham St Annes, Lancashire is the most affordable place for a holiday home in the UK
Living near the coast can be pricey, with stunning views, short walks to a beach and high demand pushing up costs. So, where is the most affordable seaside resort to buy a holiday home in the UK?
Lytham St Annes comes out as the cheapest place for holiday homes, with the average price in the Lancashire resort only £147,244. It holds off competition from three Northumberland rivals, with Berwick-upon-Tweed, Bamburgh and Seahouses all offering average house prices of £152,051.
If you’re looking to splash the cash on your coastal break, look no further than Lymington in Hampshire. Houses there go for an average of £312,885, reserving the sunshine there for only the richest of residents.
All three of these options, however, are much more expensive than the price of buying a static holiday home you can visit during the year. Getting away by the sea in your own static caravan or lodge in Lancashire could only set you back as much as £18,995, giving you ample funds left over for all the fish and chips you can dream of.
Edinburgh is the safest holiday spot in the UK
Edinburgh in Scotland is the safest bet when it comes to holiday homes. With a score of 31.3 on our crime scale, the city - famed for its New Year’s festival and Fringe Festival - is a secure place for people to spend their summers. And why wouldn’t you want to? Shortbread and whisky sound like an excellent vacation diet to us.
For possibly a more affordable stay north of the border, you could find yourself relaxing in one of our Scottish holiday parks, offering you easy access to all of the country’s incredible attractions with caravans starting at just £18,495 compared with an average house price of £151.856. Visit for staycations throughout the year to get your fill of Scottish culture.
Looking to buy abroad? Here’s where you should consider…
We have analysed 32 global coastal resorts based on average house price, health index, cost of living and crime rate to see where the best place is to buy outside the UK.
Spanish resort takes first place in the world
When it comes to global getaways, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain is the outright winner. This picturesque coastal resort scored 21 (out of 32) for average house prices and 28 for the cost of living and health. It also scored 20 for crime rates, making it safer than the likes of Barcelona, New York and Venice.
With a tropical climate and summers regularly reaching heights of 30ºC, it could make for the ideal seasonal retreat if you’re planning on soaking up the rays. In fact, the coldest Las Palmas has ever been is 9.5ºC, which is still warmer than many a British summer!
In second place is another Spanish stunner. San Sebastian is a simply sensational coastal city, boasting beautiful beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters that make it such a holiday hotspot. Couple that with a relatively low cost of living (23) and affordable house prices (21) and you can see why so many people choose to spend their summers there. With average summer temperatures upwards of 25ºC, and winters sitting at a more than enjoyable 13ºC, you can spend your time soaking up the sun surrounded by gorgeous scenery.
We have to go down under to complete the top three in the world. Perth in Australia takes the bronze medal, scoring very well for average house prices (28) but losing points for a slightly higher crime rate (16) than its Spanish counterparts.
Buying abroad vs buying a holiday home in the UK
While it might be tempting to buy a second house abroad to enjoy your holidays in, there are lots of things to consider before picking up your passport.
House prices for one can vary dramatically depending on where you want to stay, with an average property in France costing you £142,134.
Some of the cheaper countries in Europe include Moldova and Ukraine, where a property could only cost you between £43,000 and £51,000. However, the cheaper end of the scale costs you the amenities you could find in somewhere like Spain or Italy, where you’d have to pay much more to enjoy them.
The price of Brexit also can’t be ignored. The cost of buying in Europe has already increased by 0.5% in some places, while it may prove more challenging to get a visa in the future depending on the outcome of any deals. When you add that with the amount you’d have to pay to furnish your new home, you could be looking at a hefty sum to get your summer started.
Why buying a holiday home in the UK could be a better option for you...
A holiday home in the UK, on the other hand, could offer many benefits. Not only would you be closer to your friends and family, but buying a caravan or lodge by the sea could save you thousands of pounds on expensive holidays, giving you more funds to enjoy yourself with.
Houses in beautiful seaside towns have seen steep increases over the past few years, making them an unaffordable choice for many. Notably, Camber in East Sussex has an average asking price of £305,891, a 45% increase compared to 2015. A price hard to stomach when compared to static holiday homes at Camber Sands that begin at just £23,495.
Although homes on holiday parks involve additional costs such as pitch fees (which range from £2,334 to £9,837 per year,) as well as utility fees and insurance, they could still come out as a much more affordable alternative.
There’d also be no foreign laws to understand, and without any change in language, all you’d have to understand are the local accents.
With new and used caravans for sale across many scenic spots in the UK, the perfect holiday home could be much closer than you think.
We ranked 64 UK coastal resorts and 32 global coastal resorts based on average house price, health index and crime rate to see where the best place to buy a holiday home would be.
The locations were then put in order based on a total score made up of their results for every metric.
Caravan price references are correct as of 21/07/2021 and are dependent on availability. While Parkdean Resorts offer static holiday homes which can be visited throughout their specific seasons, their homes cannot be lived in year-round.