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Second homes by the sea

Take a peep out the window. Dull and grey? Us Brits are no strangers to grey skies, buckets of rain and the odd storm. But our humble island is also dotted with stunning beaches and rugged coastlines, great for enjoyment whatever the weather.

From Blackpool to Brighton, our seaside towns tell stories, provide happiness and relaxation and can even be quite lucrative… for landlords, that is.

Being a landlord in a coastal hotspot could mean financial rewards, a summer holiday home and much more, but which areas offer the best conditions and the highest profits?

We’ve looked at over 100 seaside towns in the UK and put them to the test, comparing them on weather, beach quality and real estate value to discover where your ultimate second home by the sea could be.

The 10 best UK locations for a second home by the sea

The top ten is dominated by areas in the south of England, with not a single appearance from a Scottish or northern town.

Coming out on top is the charming seaside town of Southwold. Sitting pretty on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, this town is unlike any other UK seaside resort. To begin with, it has been long lauded by artists such as Turner, giving it a literary and quirky appeal. It’s also bursting with photogenic streets, fascinating history and a thriving market atmosphere.

Rank Area Country
1 Southwold England
2 Felixstowe England
3 Teignmouth England
4 Folkestone England
5 Bournemouth England
6 Paignton England
7 Southsea England
8 Ramsgate England
9 Southend-on-sea England
10 Saundersfoot Wales

Possible annual rental revenue from Southwold is way more than any other seaside town, at £115,689, with an average daily rate coming in at £334. The price of a property may be a bit steep at an average of £540,511, but you could certainly reap the financial benefits in the long run.

The beach quality scores a 2.5 out of 4 from the Environment Agency, the average July temperature is just under 29ºC with only 50.9 mm of rain, which is nothing, especially when compared with the likes of Pwllheli and Criccieth in Wales, with a shocking 143.2mm.

If you’re looking for the perfect spot to buy your second home by the sea and gain long-term financial rewards in a quintessentially British, thriving seaside town, Southwold could be your number one.

Not far behind in the ranking sits Felixstowe, also in Suffolk, and Teignmouth in Devon.

Second homes by the sea - ranked

The top 30 second home locations show an eclectic balance of high beach quality, warm, dry weather and high real estate value. The majority are situated in the South East and South West, with a few in the East and in Wales.

The best destinations for...

Top average temperature:

Felixstowe, 22.3ºC

If you’re looking for hot, hot, hot, Felixstowe could be your best bet. You’ll have extremely happy guests/residents and an even happier business bank account. Who needs a holiday abroad when you have these temperatures at home?

Lowest average rainfall:

Weymouth, 35.9mm

No one likes a soggy beach! Weymouth could be a great option if you’re hoping to avoid the wellies and raincoats. The dryer weather could mean you add al fresco dining options and balconies to your property, which could lead to higher financial rewards.

Cheapest average property price:

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, £93,749

If you don't want to break the bank with a seaside investment, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea could be a fantastic option. Since the beach redevelopment in 2007, this town has only seen positive growth and could be your perfect chance to own a second home by the sea.

Highest annual property revenue:

Southwold, £115,689

Southwold could see you reaping the highest rental revenue on a property. Your property will cost you on average £540,511, but with an annual return of £115,689, you could have this back in just over four years.

Highest daily property rate:

Southwold, £334.00

If you’re looking to invest with the aim of opening a B&B or hotel, then Southwold is a no-brainer. While the cost of a property is higher, the daily rate would mean you see the financial benefits in no time.

Mark Gordon, Director, Money & Mortgages, comments: “When it comes to getting a mortgage for your second home it’s important to be clear with your lender what you are going to use the home for, whether that’s buying to rent or for a holiday home. If you opt for a holiday home you can then apply for a second residential mortgage to help buy your new home.

If you are looking to escape the city and find yourself a second home by the sea, it appears the south of the UK would be your best bet, offering the great summer weather and higher revenue. However, although you may have to compromise a little on the sunshine, seaside homes in the North can be considerably cheaper yet still give a good return!”

Methodology & Sources:

Rental data from Airdna
(we looked at the average rental price for a property with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and that accommodates 4 people)

House Prices from Rightmove
(except for Northern Ireland we used UK Gov Data: Data sheet: Link

Beach quality scores:
1 - Poor
2 - Sufficient
3 - Good
4 - Excellent

Average annual rainfall/sunshine: MET Office
We used the Nearest Weather Station Average Rainfall and Temperature for July - Last 30 Years