If you are looking for a home with a sea view you may have to pay a premium of 25% or more over the price of a similar property inland.

This is particularly true in Brighton and Hove where even oblique sea views are sought after (and they don’t stay on the market for long), even though you could get more for your money just around the corner.

Seaside homes are a magnet for celebrities and the unpretentious looking terrace at Western Esplanade which has the beach on its doorstep, but the docks at its back, are valued in excess of £2.5 million each. Norman Cook and Zoe Ball, and singer Adele have homes there.

Andy Lees, residential property partner with Graves Son and Pilcher, says Western Esplanade is a one off that distorts the figures.

“A seafront property with a view can command and extra 20% to 30% and get a lot of interest but the seller may have to wait a long time to find a buyer if the difference is any more than that.”

Up market property agency Knight Frank has actually put a price on the quality of a sea view at 47%, but that includes some exclusive areas such at Sandbanks in Dorset.

In Brighton and Hove the average price of a house is just short of £300,000, 20% over the UK average, and the average price of one with a sea view will set you back £500,000 or more.

The ease of commuting between Brighton and London makes the resort popular with people wanting to get away from the capital, and that has a strong effect on prices. Brighton’s appeal as a home, or even a second home, has been strong since the early 1800s when the Prince of Wales fancied a seaside pad. Once he built the Royal Pavilion there was no turning back and the fishing village of Brighthelmstone became the fashionable resort of Brighton and beautiful terraces, crescents and houses were built along the seafront from Hove to Kemp Town.

Jason Brand, partner with Brand Vaughan estate agents, says it is hard to generalise because every sea view is different.

“They’re not all as attractive as each other, a ground floor apartment won’t have such a great view as one higher up, and then it depends on whether the building has a lift. Because there is a limited number of properties available with a sea view buyers are prepared to pay around 25% extra. There is a lot of interest from buyers from London and outside of Brighton and Hove.

“Seafront property prices may seem high to local people but they will hold their value and are a solid investment.”

The craze for a sea view took a long time to catch on. The famous Royal Crescent in Marine Parade was the first residential development in Brighton to face the sea but it took almost ten years to sell and almost bankrupted the developer. It then took another 15 years before Thomas Read Kemp felt confident enough to start building ocean facing homes in Kemp Town, an ambitious project that had put him into financial difficulties. These days a complete, sea facing house in Kemp Town will sell for more than £3 million and an upmarket apartment will sell for £1 million plus.

Prices per square foot for a beach hut in the City by the Sea are not far behind those achieved along the coast at Mudeford Spit, Dorset, where an upmarket, two-room beach hut sold for £200,000 (that’s £1,000 per sqft), a more modest beach hut on Hove seafront could cost more than £12,000, just a little below the Mudeford Spit square foot price.