Cost of Living on the New Hampshire Seacoast

Verani Realty

One of the best things about New Hampshire is the diversity of the landscapes that are within the state. From the mountains, lakes, city, and seacoast, there is something for everyone to enjoy in every season. Although one of the smallest coastlines in the country, New Hampshire’s seacoast is a popular destination for tourists, vacationers, and potential home buyers. Whether you’re looking for a full-time residence or a vacation home, every type of buyer wonders the same thing: what does the NH seacoast cost of living look like? We’re here to help answer that question by looking at some of the most popular seacoast towns, so read on!


Portsmouth, NH:

Portsmouth, NH, a popular coastal town filled with history and charm. Home to over 21,000 people and is located in Rockingham County, Portsmouth spans over 16 square miles. The third oldest town in the United States, Portsmouth is known for its preservation of the town’s original buildings and landmarks. The residents take pride and value their historic footprint but they’re certainly not living in the past. Portsmouth has a very vibrant and lively downtown filled with local restaurants, shops, cafes, parks, entertainment, and nightlife. With its location, popularity, and local amenities, Portsmouth, NH cost of living is a little higher than the rest of the state. The overall state of NH has an affordability score of 114.4 and Portsmouth’s score is a bit above that at 141.6. However, when looking at a breakdown of that score (health costs, transportation, utilities, groceries, etc.) most of those scores are actually under the state average. The one thing that is boosting Portsmouth’s score is housing. Portsmouth, NH is a very sought-after community to live in thus driving up an already competitive housing market. Homes for sale in Portsmouth, NH range in price and style, but the average home price is around $453,000. Although a high price point, you can make up for costs elsewhere - for example, living in Portsmouth offers incredible walkability, so you can cut transportation costs.


Dover, NH:

Located north of Portsmouth in Strafford County on the border of Maine lies Dover, NH. Home to over 31,000 people, Dover is the 4th largest city in the state. Filled with restaurants, local shops, parks, entertainment, and coffee shops, Dover has rapidly increased in popularity among young professionals and families. The cost of living in Dover, NH is significantly lower than in Portsmouth, coming in with an overall affordability score of 106.4, which is even lower than the state’s average of 114.4. The median income in Dover, NH is just over $61,000 and the average home value is about $294,000, which should give you a good understanding of its affordability.


Rye, NH:

Situated on a small bit of coastline in Rockingham County lies Rye, NH. Although the shortest coastline in the country, it has some of the best ocean views and beaches in the state. Home to just under 6,000 residents and spanning over 36 square miles, the community of Rye offers suburban living great for growing families. Rye, NH is an affluent community filled with several state parks and beaches, several historical islands known as the Isle of Shoals, local restaurants, shops, cafes, and entertainment. Due to the affluent community, amenities, and proximity to the coast, the cost of living in Rye, NH is significantly higher than other seacoast towns. With an overall affordability score of 197.7, it is well over the states score of 114.4. However, like Portsmouth, the main contributing factor to that score being so high is due to the housing market. Average home value prices in Rye around $774,000 and the median household income is approximately $103,792. Although on the pricier side of the seacoast, Rye, NH offers a lot and may be the perfect place for some buyers to lay down roots. 


Hampton, NH:

Our final spotlight NH seacoast town is amongst the most popular summer spots, tucked along the Atlantic Ocean coastline is Hampton, NH. Nestled in Rockingham County, over 15,000 people call this ocean town home. Spanning almost 15 square miles, this small town is filled with a lively downtown strip, local restaurants, shops, cafes, entertainment, and nightlife. Bustling in the summer months with tourists and vacationers, once the cooler weather rolls in the town becomes quieter but still remains beautiful. The cost of living in Hampton, NH is a little more affordable compared to some other seacoast towns, with an overall affordability score of 134.9. Again, like most towns, the housing market plays into that score very heavily. Homes for sale in Hampton, NH have an average value of $382,000 and the median household income is approximately $84,312, which should give you a good understanding of it’s affordability.


If you’re searching for your perfect NH seacoast home for sale but don’t know where to start, call us today, your trusted and knowledgeable Verani REALTORS®. You can also search for real estate for sale in your favorite beach town online at


The newest New Hampshire real estate listings are on which is updated every 5 minutes. Our site has thousands of single-family homes and waterfront homes for sale in New Hampshire and Northern New England.  It’s easy to create an advanced search to find the perfect home by filtering home features like first floor master bedroom or beachfront homes in New Hampshire.

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