Home Life & Style My hometown has some of the cheapest house prices in the UK...

My hometown has some of the cheapest house prices in the UK and lots of beautiful beaches

Sunderland beach at sunset

Sunderland is home to some beautiful beaches, perfect for walks, cold water swimming and sports (Image: Getty Images)

In February, the average house prices crept up once more as mortgage costs dropped, and in some parts of the country purchasing a home for first-time buyers can be a daunting prospect. Having relocated to London from my hometown of Sunderland five years ago, the prospect of buying a home in the capital is one which feels far from reach. But, by comparison, back at home the majority of my friends were able to buy houses before they they turned 30.

Hard work and saving were, of course, a huge part of their success, but they were also aided by low house prices when compared with the rest of the country – and now recent data proves the postcode to be one of the cheapest in the UK to buy a home.

While the average house price in London sits at a whopping £731,977, according to the most recent data from Right Move, up in the North East city of Sunderland, this figure plummets to £164,327 on average.

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Right Move explained: “The majority of sales in Sunderland during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £170,033.

“Terraced properties sold for an average of £122,008, with detached properties fetching £322,786.”

Cardinal Steels and Online Marketing Surgery also included Sunderland in their House Price Report, where it made it into the top 20 cheapest places to buy a house in January, with an average price of £135,666.

Though the city was ranked in the top 50 “worst places to live” in January of this year on the iLiveHere website, coming in at number 27, as someone who has lived there and visits often, I believe the city has lots to offer. That’s on top of its affordable cost of living.

In my opinion, one of the best things about Sunderland is its beautiful beaches and close proximity to many more in the surrounding area. Perhaps the city’s most well-known beaches are Roker and Seaburn.

Coincidentally, these areas also have some of the more expensive homes in Sunderland, which is partly due to their location. Houses in Seaburn have an overall average price of £219,239, notably higher than the city average.

Roker beach in Sunderland

Roker beach has been described as an ‘unsung hidden gem’ (Image: Getty Images)

Seaburn Beach is a vast stretch of flat, sandy shoreline, which is popular for coastal walks all year round. It’s also popular for sailing, surfing and other water sports – just make sure you pack your wet suit as the North Sea temperature rarely gets warmer than 15C in the summer and is as cold as 6C in the winter. Seaburn is also lined with cafés, bars and restaurants – plus some amusements for kids old and young to enjoy.

There’s also The Stack, a leisure and community hub made from shipping containers, that is home to several street food vendors, bars and retail outlets, as well as being a hub for entertainment.

Just a stone’s throw from Seaburn is Roker Beach. Similarly sandy, though lined with boulders along the back, Roker is extremely popular with dog walkers and is also a spot for watersports, such as paddle boarding, and brave year-round wild swimming.

The beachguide.co.uk described Roker Beach as “one of the unsung hidden gems of the northeast English coast” and for good reason. You can find several newly opened cafés and bars here, as well as a children’s playground. It’s also a short walk from Roker Park, which shared its name with Sunderland’s former football ground before the Stadium of Light was created in 1997.

River Wear

Sunderland is located on the River Wear (Image: Getty Images)

Sunderland is also within a short drive of several other gorgeous coastal beaches. Seaham Beach, in country Durham, is another gem of the region and can be reached by bus or car in 15 minutes. If you’re up for a day out, you can reach the incredible Northumberland Coat in around an hour, where you will find stunning, national jewels including Alnmouth, Amble, Beadnell and Bamburgh.

Away from the beaches, Sunderland welcomed an influx of new businesses in recent years and is continually undergoing regeneration projects across parts of the city centre, such as Keel Square, the Riverside Quarter and the lovely Seaburn seafront.

Keel Square, at the heart of the city, was named by the public and celebrates Sunderland’s shipbuilding heritage with the ‘Keel Line’ and the ‘Propellers of the City’. The square regularly hosts events throughout the year and also features artwork by Bryan Talbot. The street furniture also details Sunderland’s twin and sister cities such as Saint-Nazaire, Harbin, Essen and Washington DC.

Several new hotels have sprung up in the city, including an £18 million Holiday Inn hotel, in Keel Square. New bars and restaurants are also popping up, including a trendy Botanist bar serving gastro-pub food and cocktails, locally-owned noodle bar Koji and seafood restaurant North which has made its home on Seaburn Promenade.

The city is also set to become the home of one of the largest filming complexes in Europe, FulwellCain Studios which is a joint venture between global entertainment company Fulwell 73 and Cain International, set to create 8,450 jobs across the North East in the next decade. You may have heard of Fulwell 73, partly spearheaded by James Cordon, for its involvement in the hit Netflix documentary Sunderland Til I Die and the reality TV show The Kardashians.

On top of this, if you want a little bit of countryside, seaside and city life, Sunderland might be your best bet. The city is well-placed between the coast and the surrounding countryside, both of which can be accessed easily. And, just in case you miss the hustle and bustle of city life, you can hop on the Metro and be in Newcastle within 40 minutes.


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