HOUSE prices in Bridlington have more than doubled in the last decade according to a new survey – but estate agents in the town say the housing market is still struggling.
In 2002, the average house price in the town was £60,698.
But by 2012 the price had risen by 109% to £127,014 according to a survey carried out by the Halifax using data from the Land Registry.
But despite the prices more than doubling in that time, local estate agents believe the housing market in Bridlington is currently struggling.
Richard Graves, of D Dunk, Lewis and Graves estate agents in Chapel Street, said: “The housing market in Bridlington is poor at the moment, there’s no question.
“While the survey will be correct to show that house prices have gone up, most of that increase will have been in 2002, 03 and 04 where house prices went up by something like 60%.
“It is difficult to make valuations today because house prices have fallen back from their peak before the recession.”
Mr Graves said most house buyers in Bridlington move to the seaside for retirement, but a “lack of industry, jobs and first time buyers” slows down the local market.
He said: “The seaside is a popular destination for those who have retired, whether it is local people upgrading or people coming to the town from elsewhere, but we have seen a sharp decline in the price of seafront flats for example.
“People can’t get credit and can’t sell their existing properties.”
Compared with other seaside towns on the East Coast of Yorkshire, the average cost of a house in Bridlington is lower than most.
Seaside towns to the north of Bridlington – Scarborough, Filey and Whitby – have higher average prices, and all but Scarborough have seen prices go up by a higher percentage since 2002.
The average house price in Filey was £67,346 in 2002, rising by 120% to £148,089 by 2012, while houses in Whitby were named the most expensive in a seaside town in the north of England, rising by a whopping 151% from £84,111 in 2002 to £211,484 this year.
Average Scarborough house prices rose by 102% from £71,391 to £144,559.
Mike Skelton, of Promark Ltd estate agents in Chapel Street, said: “Whitby is closer to places like Middlesbrough and York and I would imagine that there are more holiday homes there, and Scarborough and Filey have always gone for a little more.
“The market in Bridlington is still a bit precarious, as it is everywhere, because it is very difficult for people to get mortgages. I’m not sure if being on the coast is an advantage.
“A housing boom starts in London and the South East, it seems that we in Bridlington feel it spread out to us last – but we feel it very quickly when there is a downturn.
“It would take a brave man to predict what’s going to happen to house prices in the future, but I would say that it’s possible there could be a slight improvement.”
Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, who commissioned the survey, said that while seaside towns are still popular places to live, property often comes at a price – but that value can still be found in Yorkshire.
Compared to latest figures in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Bridlington’s average house price is well below the county wide average of £165,263.
But it still higher than another East Riding coastal town, Withernsea, where average house prices are £92,356 – the second cheapest seaside town in England and Wales.
Despite the rises in Bridlington, Coun Cyril Marsburg has not noticed much of a change.
“I think it’s hard to believe that house prices have gone up so much, especially when you see so many properties for sale,” said Coun Marsburg.
“Although they have risen, property is still cheap in Bridlington compared to lots of other places around the country, so hopefully if the regeneration from the Area Action Plan comes together with agreement from everyone, and we get the hoped for boost from the tourism industry, then we will see the housing market pick up in Bridlington.
“I think we may see lots more people moving here from the south as the cost of living here is cheaper than there.”