Millport has featured as the top seaside resort for a property bargain following a recent Bank of Scotland survey.

In general, thrifty homebuyers could save up to £24,396 by purchasing a home in one of Scotland's seaside towns compared to the rest of the country, according to research from Bank of Scotland.

Over the course of the last five years, average property prices by the sea have increased by only £7,980 (6%). This is significantly lower than the rise in house prices seen across Scotland as a whole, with a home in any Scottish town costing £172,833 on average, a rise of 12% over five years. It is also a stark difference when compared to house prices in seaside towns across the UK, where property prices have jumped £42,153 (22%) over this time.

Graham Blair, mortgage director at Bank of Scotland, said:

"Scotland, with its beautiful coastline, represents fantastic value for money for anyone looking to purchase a seaside property. These locations offer a unique lifestyle with a typically high quality of life and a healthy environment.

“Homebuyers working in Scotland’s major towns and cities no doubt weigh up commute time and the discount they can receive by moving to the seaside.”

Nine out of the ten least expensive seaside towns are on the western coastline. Millport is the least expensive in Scotland and the UK with an average price of £81,233 and is closely followed by Girvan (£91,459) and Saltcoats (£92,891). Six of the top ten least expensive towns have an average price below £100,000 – a change from last year where all ten were below £100,000.

In comparison, North Berwick retains the top spot as Scotland’s most expensive seaside town, and bucking the overall trend, house prices in Argyll and Bute have increased substantially over the last year.

Councillor Alan Hill is a partner in Robert Duff & Co, Solicitors, who have had an Estate Agency office in Millport for the last 10 years, said, "Cumbrae is not just a fantastic place to live and work it also has some of the most affordable seaside properties in the country. Millport has superfast broadband available and therefore also now offers people who work from home the opportunity to do so, whilst living in a wonderful and unspoiled environment. Add to that an excellent primary school associated with the new Largs Campus providing local children with access to first class education. Millport also benefits from a dedicated GP Practice with further services being provided from the local cottage hospital.

"Among the best views in Scotland are to be had from Cumbrae which also boasts award winning beaches, access to water sports, sailing and kayaking. The wildlife and birds on Cumbrae attract visitors year round and I was assured a couple of years ago that there is more bird life to be seen on Cumbrae than at the RSPB Reserve in Lochwinnoch."

Fresh from enjoying Millport's Happy Daze music festival at the weekend, Cllr. Hill added: "Socially there are enough local groups to ensure that you could, if you wanted, be out every night of the week. Millport hosts a number of excellent festivals and events throughout the year and is well provided in food outlets as well as local pubs and hotel.

"All in all, Cumbrae is a hidden gem and I have no doubt that property on the island represents an excellent investment for anyone."