Dorset’s 10 cheapest places to live revealed – with property prices below £180,000

The cheapest places to buy property in Dorset have been revealed.

Analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures shows where homes in the county are most affordable, on average.

The general trend is for property prices to soar, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a desire to relocate to rural areas.

READ NEXT – Dorset’s most viewed homes on Rightmove in January 2022

We’ve detailed the areas in Dorset that have seen the fastest growth in house prices here.

This list also included an overview of areas that have seen slow growth.

There is some overlap with these ten places and the list below.

But the cheapest area to buy a house in Dorset is potentially a hidden gem.

Neighborhoods in Dorset with the lowest house prices

1 – Melcombe Regis

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £155,000
  • Year to June 2021 – £176,750
  • % change – 14%

Melcombe Regis has a long history – in the 14th century it was its own port, separate from Weymouth.

The Black Death (aka The Plague) is believed to have arrived on British soil at the port in 1348.

Melcombe Regis wasn’t even connected to what was then Weymouth by a bridge until 1597.

But since the 1970s, Melcombe Regis has officially been part of Weymouth and Portland.

However, the service continues to be used by people like the ONS.

And now Melcombe Regis has a new claim to fame – the area in Dorset with the cheapest average house price, at least until June 2021.

You could have the sea, a college, a hospital and the Sea Life Center on your doorstep if you choose to buy in the area.

2 – West Boscombe

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £159,500
  • Year to June 2021 – £179,000
  • % change – 12%

Boscombe has had his fair share of bad press.

It is known by some as the “drug capital” of the south.

The government has officially recognized that this is a city in need of revitalization.

And it’s often been listed by a website as one of the ‘worst places to live’ in the UK – but not anymore.

All of this could explain why house prices are not among the highest in Dorset, despite the presence of beaches and proximity to Bournemouth.

Putting it in a positive spin, it means the area is ripe for bargain hunters.

3- Portland

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £187,000
  • Year to June 2021 – £197,000
  • % change – 5%

Portland is a place of extremes.

An island connected to Weymouth by a causeway, it is as coastal as life in Dorset is.

Sea views often mean expensive property, but Portland has its pros and cons.

Portland is known to bear the brunt of violent storms

On the pro side – wildlife, outdoor space galore, lots of wildlife and amazing history.

The place has a spy ring named after it, following the discovery of an operation by the Soviet Union to spy on the former military base and pass secrets to Moscow.

Portland stone has also been used in grand buildings across Britain and the rest of the world – it played a crucial role in the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666.

However, when looking to buy a home, practicality tends to trump an impressive past.

Portland can be a remote place, with harsh conditions.

There’s also a prison, which can be off-putting – although an island is a great place for one person.

4 – East Cliff and Springbourne

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £196,500
  • Year to June 2021 – £218,000
  • % change – 11%

Historically, Springbourne was in Hampshire.

Not far from Boscombe, it may suffer from some image problems.

But it’s also a booming place, with easy transport links to Bournemouth and a growing number of family homes.


Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £215,000
  • Year to June 2021 – £220,000
  • % change – 2%

Back in the Weymouth area, Westham offers good value for money, as well as being close to the town centre.

It is perhaps a bad omen that a Google search of the neighborhood brings up stories of thugs making life hell for the residents.

But it must be said that the cover dates from 2009.

So be prepared to give Westham a chance.

6 – Bournemouth Center

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £176,666
  • Year to June 2021 – £222,000
  • % change – 26%

Unsurprisingly, Bournemouth Central features on our list of areas with the fastest growing property prices.

The heart of Dorset’s largest and busiest town offers employment opportunities, shops, restaurants and all important beach access.

Nevertheless, there are bargains to be had. Some people still prefer to live in more affluent suburbs.

Be prepared to accept an investment property, perhaps in need of renovation, to get full value in this area.

– 7 Blandfords

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £223,000
  • Year to June 2021 – £238,000
  • % change – 7%

Blandford has a charming Market Square, with its Georgian architecture giving the town center a quaint look.

The city was rebuilt after a devastating fire hundreds of years ago, which explains its pleasant uniform style in places.

For many years Blandford Camp was vital to the town, with employment and social life often linked to the armed forces.

The military base is still there but less integral to the lives of many residents.

Blandford Corn Exchange
Blandford Corn Exchange

Assets these days include many supermarkets, spanning the spectrum – from discount retailers like Lidl, to mainstream retail giants Tesco and Morrisons, and high-end food M&S.

When it comes to property, the place has it all – from huge mansions, perfect for the elite who send their children to famous private schools nearby, to housing estates and retirement apartments.

The location might suit you if you have to travel to Bournemouth or Poole for work, but still have access to rural Dorset to the north.

8 – Rodwell and Wyke

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £227,500
  • Year to June 2021 – £245,000
  • % change – 8%

There’s a theme to this list so far – if you want a bargain in Dorset, consider Weymouth.

The Rodwell and Wyke area is practically a stone’s throw from the famous and beautiful Chesil Beach.

It even includes caravans and holiday parks.

But like others on this list, it also has its challenges – with necessary developments and investments.

9 – Sturminster Newton

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £245,000
  • Year to June 2021 – £247,000
  • % change – 1%

Sturminster Newton – known as ‘Stur’ to locals – sits in the heart of Thomas Hardy country.

It used to be two places – Sturminster is the main town, but across the town’s iconic bridge over the River Stour you’ll find Newton, by the mill – perhaps the town’s most notable feature.

It was also once home to one of the largest cattle markets in the UK, which attracted industry and commerce to the town.

The last days of Sturminster Newton cattle market 1997
The last days of Sturminster Newton cattle market 1997

Today, the Bourse stands on the site of the old market, a multi-purpose community venue that has earned a reputation in recent years for attracting big names from the entertainment world.

Some locals sometimes lament the lack of amenities and shops but there are plenty of countryside walks and a few independent shops worth exploring.

Expect the classic Dorset variety in the property market – thatched-roof beauties near the church, scattered retirement flats, housing estates and grand country residences on the outskirts.

10 – Westbourne and West Cliff

Average house price:

  • Year to June 2020 – £220,000
  • Year to June 2021 – £255,000
  • % change – 16%

Finally, we have Westbourne and West Cliff.

Readers might be surprised to find it on this list, as parts of the neighborhood include hotels for nearby Bournemouth town centre.

Westbourne also has Chez Fred – a fish and chip shop with a local reputation.

It is possible that the large number of apartments in the area has lowered the average price. Unlike most of Dorset, flats probably outnumber houses here.

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It should be noted that the average property prices used to compile this list are a raw average and do not take into account the type of property sold.

As such, the average price may be skewed for neighborhoods that have seen a small number of sales over the past year.

Increases and decreases may also reflect changes in the types of properties sold, for example if many new apartments have been built in an area that was previously made up of single-detached houses.

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