If the sunny coastline of East Sussex has caught your interest as somewhere to potentially live, you’ll be weighing up the coastal towns to see which has the most value for money. Brighton and Eastbourne are often compared against each other as they draw millions of visitors across the country every year as popular tourist destinations at the seaside. While they both have their perks as a town to visit, what makes them attractive as places to live? Which town is the better one to call home? Of course, a lot of opinion factors into these questions and it depends on what exactly you’re looking for in the town you call home. As a general rule of thumb, Brighton is considered the ‘younger’ town with more attractions and a livelier nightlife. Eastbourne is quieter and not as bustling yet has beautiful beaches only a stone’s throw away and is becoming much more up-and-coming.

At Town Property, we are rather biassed about which town we believe is best. As one of the longest established estate agents in Eastbourne, we know what drives the housing demand in the town consistently throughout the past thirty years. Yet we often have to argue the town’s case when compared against Brighton. This blog looks into the different things you should consider about each town while looking into buying or renting property in either.

How does the property market compare?

Eastbourne is cheaper that Brighton on average. According to Rightmore, the average price for a terraced property in Brighton is £637,882. Eastbourne’s average terrace price is almost half at £325,588. However, these figures are averages and Eastbourne’s property prices differ between the different areas of the town. You can find affordable houses with beautiful sea views in both towns. That being said, you will get more for your money in Eastbourne especially if you wish to commute from the town to London.

Eastbourne is also has a very attractive rental market. The average rents for Eastbourne is much lower than Brighton. According to home.co.uk, the average cost for a one bedroom rental is £965 whereas the average in Brighton is £1443. There is also a high demand for short-term rentals as a tourist destination during the summer. Eastbourne and Brighton both offer much for property investors looking to buy-to-let – and not just in the summer. Young professionals in a position to commute to London and benefit from hybrid working are drawn further out into the commuter belt to benefit from the cheaper rents outside of the capital.

Which town has a more affordable cost of living?

Eastbourne is more affordable than Brighton, however the story that the figures show miss off a vital difference between the two towns. Brighton has better employment opportunities and, as a result, the average salary per resident is higher. There is a greater potential for a higher disposable income in Brighton. Even if the cost of living is that bit more expensive than in Eastbourne, there are more amenities available to spend extra cash on. Brighton has a more vibrant nightlife as well as a more diverse range of entertainment options available.

The tables below provide an idea of the differences between the costs of living in both towns, including the average salary.

Eastbourne (figures according to numbero)

Average monthly net salary
£1700.00

Expense
Average cost

Rent (1 bed apartment in town centre)
£873.75

Utilities: Basic per month (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage)
Monthly £165.50

Childcare (Monthly for 1 child))
£800

Fitness (Month gym pass)
£40

Eating out cost per person
£20

Transport monthly pass
£62

Fuel (petrol per litre)
£1.53

Brighton (figures according to numbero)

Average monthly net salary
£2371.33

Expense
Average cost

Rent (1 bed apartment in town centre)
£1375.00

Utilities: Basic per month (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage)
Monthly £275.22

Childcare (Monthly for 1 child)
£1200.00

Fitness (Month gym pass)
£35.22

Eating out cost per person
£15.00

Transport monthly pass
£84.00

Fuel (petrol per litre)
£1.55

Which town is better for commuters?

Both Brighton and Eastbourne are considered as commuter towns thanks to the public transport links via their main train stations. The commute time is very similar between the two and as they both have a direct line to London, the journey is also similar. According to the Southern Rail website, an annual ticket for Eastbourne to London Victoria costs over £5000. Brighton to London Blackfriars costs around the same.

For commuters looking to move out of the capital and get more for their money when seeking to move onto the property ladder, Eastbourne is definitely worth considering as the property prices are more affordable. Over the recent years, Eastbourne has dramatically been growing in popularity as a choice for commuters to call as a base. With remote working on the rise since the pandemic, there’s a big draw for new residents looking to have a change of scenery. Eastbourne is a perfect idyll for those wanting a quieter homelife away from the hubbub of the city.

Why move to Eastbourne when Brighton has more on offer?

Eastbourne offers residents the same scope of amenities and social services available to residents in Brighton. Healthcare and Education are on a par with the larger town so families benefit from the same level of support. With many schools to choose from, those looking to start a family will always be within the catchment of a high standard school wherever they choose to live in Eastbourne. However, Brighton has better higher education options as a university town.

Brighton has a larger demographic of younger residents. Its lifestyle and culture reflects this as there is more to do when the sun sets. That doesn’t mean that Eastbourne only has attractions for those in their senior years. Eastbourne’s nightlife is improving. With recent investments in Eastbourne’s commercial district at the Arndale, there are plenty of choices for shopping. Eastbourne’s seafront is also, in our humble opinion, much nicer than Brighton and more attuned to the natural beauty of the area. The Pier with its tasteful Victoria decor is a wonderful place to enjoy a spot of lunch.

Eastbourne is a fantastic place to visit and also provides much to do for those who call the town home. With the cost of living cheaper and the housing prices lower, it provides a good case for future buyers and young families. There is something for all ages and, at the end of the day, Brighton is only a short train journey away.

Explore our property opportunities in Eastbourne

If you would like to find out more about what your housing budget could fetch you in Eastbourne, feel free to explore our current listings. You can also get in touch with one of our advisors if you would like to find out more about living in Eastbourne. Contact our team either by emailing us by using the contact form or calling on 01323 412200.