HOUSE prices in much of coastal East Lothian have risen sharply in the last 12 months, but there has been a drop in average prices in the county’s two biggest towns.

That is according to figures released by ESPC last month, which state that the biggest increase over the last three months of 2017 was in Dunbar, where prices have risen 19.3 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.

The average house price in Dunbar is now at £250,429, compared with £209,998 for 2016.

There have also been rises in the North Berwick coastal area and in Cockenzie, Port Seton and Prestonpans.

Prices in North Berwick grew more than six per cent to £363,619, while there was an increase of 4.2 per cent in surrounding villages – Aberlady, Dirleton and Gullane – to £347,108.

And there was a nine per cent rise in Cockenzie, Port Seton and Prestonpans – to £168,866.

However, the figures for Musselburgh, Haddington and Tranent have fallen sharply, though an ESPC spokesperson confirmed the Haddington figure – down 25.4 per cent to £157,255 – was “skewed” due to “the sale of a number of more expensive properties at the end of 2016”.

In the Honest Toun, the drop is of 4.4 per cent to £168,168, while prices in Tranent are down 4.1 per cent to £197,126.

In terms of the number of houses being sold, there has been a drop in Musselburgh (8.1 per cent), Haddington (17.1 per cent) and Dunbar (2.1 per cent). More houses are being sold in Tranent (50 per cent), Prestonpans (33.3 per cent) and North Berwick (7.1 per cent).

Maria Botha-Lopez, business analyst at ESPC, said that despite the results, Haddington was “continuing to be a popular town to buy a property” and is considered a “more affordable place to move to outside Edinburgh”.

She added: “North Berwick is one of the most popular places in East Lothian to purchase a property, indicative of its faster time to sell (a median time to sell of 21 days in 2017), and with 77.1 per cent of properties achieving or exceeding their home report valuation.”