Pit village that endured hard times now Britain's top property hotspot

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The Independent Online

A former pit village which suffered after the collapse of the coal industry has been named as the country's top property hotspot.

A survey has found that average house prices in Seaham, on the edge of the County Durham coalfield, have gone up by 172 per cent to £117,266 in the past three years. Halifax bank published an annual price review, and said Seaham outperformed other towns in England and Wales.

Of the 124 seaside towns surveyed, the next biggest increases are in Wales - Porthcawl and Caernarfon are both up 100 per cent (to £202,614 and £132,812).

In more than half of all the seaside towns surveyed (71 out of 124), house prices have increased by at least 50 per cent in total over the past three years. Most seaside towns (117) have recorded house price increases ahead of the 31 per cent average across Great Britain in the same period.

Seaham, seven miles south of Sunderland, has a 1,200-year history, and has a Saxon church and an attractive working harbour. Lord Byron visited once on a wooing mission, it is surrounded by attractive countryside and boasts a luxury hotel, spa and restaurant. The last of its three pits closed in the 1990s, since when one colliery site has been transformed into a booming coastal housing estate of 600 homes.

Wick, in the far north of Scotland, is the least expensive seaside town, in Great Britain with an average price of £64,612.

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