FIVE seaside towns are property hotspots where values have doubled in 10 years.

The towns, all in Aberdeenshire, emerged in new research showing house prices on the coastline have risen by £500 a month since 2004.

On average, the cost of a home with a sea view has risen by 42% in the past decade and is catching up with the equivalent increases in urban areas.

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It appears Scotland is leading the way, with half of the top-10 most desirable areas north of the Border.

According to the research, Fraserburgh experienced the biggest rise out of anywhere in the UK with a 141% increase from an average price of £53,641 in 2004 to £129,325 in 2014.

Cove Bay (119%), Peterhead (118%), Inverbervie (114%) and Stonehaven (101%) - where the famous fireball parade is held on New Year's Eve - have seen the next biggest gains.

South of the Border, Aldeburgh, on the Suffolk coastline, has seen the best house performance among seaside towns with average property values almost doubling (95%) in the decade to £446,576 in 2014.

Other English seaside towns in the top 10 for average price increases are Wadebridge in north Cornwall and Workington in Cumbria (both 91%).

Yet, the average house price in a seaside town, now standing at £196,826, means buying in those areas is still cheaper when compared to the average house price across Great Britain (£239,518).

Craig McKinlay, mortgage director at Halifax, which carried out the research, said Aberdeen's booming oil business had been a major factor in the growth of house prices in nearby coastal towns.

He said: "Seaside towns provide a unique lifestyle opportunity and remain popular places for people to live, while also attracting those looking for second homes or ­holiday properties which can place additional upward pressure on house prices.

"For once, oil and water have mixed - with Aberdeenshire at the heart of Scotland's vigorous energy industry, it's little wonder seaside houses have increased so substantially.

"In fact, Aldeburgh in East Anglia (95%), Wadebridge in the South West (91%) and Workington in the North (91%) are the only non-Scottish entrants in the top 10 places experiencing seaside house price growth."

However, away from Aberdeenshire property prices by the sea have not risen to the same extent, with Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute and Girvan in Ayrshire listed as the two least expensive seaside towns to buy a property. The average price in these two towns is £85,605 and £85,868, respectively.

Mr McKinlay added: "Living near the seaside remains an achievable dream for many. Even in the places experiencing the biggest house prices rises in the past 10 years, four are still substantially below the UK average. Places like Workington in the North, and Montrose, Peterhead and Fraserburgh in Scotland have experienced exceptional growth, but on average houses cost below £150,000."

The study used figures from the Land Registry and the Registers of Scotland.

Simon Rettie, managing ­director of Rettie & Co, said much of house price growth in Aberdeenshire was being driven by the oil industry.

He said: "Coastal properties are always in demand because of the amenity and the aspect. We all enjoy looking out over water, after all.

"But what we have in Aberdeen and the surrounding area is a micro-climate created by the oil industry which is not being felt elsewhere in Scotland.

"Both London and Aberdeen enjoy rates of growth not being seen elsewhere. However, we are seeing prices in the mid-range moving back towards their pre-2007 levels, although there is not as much movement in top-level properties."