High cost for properties in market towns
Market towns are becoming some of the most expensive UK destinations to live in, according to research from Lloyds TSB.
A newly released report suggests the cost of buying a house in a market town is now £22,616 higher than the UK average of £235,719. This is 11 per cent more expensive.
It is also 6.4 times the average salary in the UK, meaning that cash-strapped buyers will be avoiding this particular market.
In fact, this house price premium has risen very sharply from £11,691 in 2002 – when the average house price in market towns was £132,870, compared with an average of £121,179 for their county.
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More than 60 per cent of market towns have a higher average house price than their county average.
Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire has the largest premium, where houses are 163 per cent above the average house price in the county. Bakewell has the next highest premium, 123 per cent above the Derbyshire average, followed by Wetherby where properties cost almost twice as much (96 per cent) compared with West Yorkshire as a whole.
Nine of the ten most expensive market towns are in southern England. Beaconsfield is also the most expensive market town in England with an average house price of £810,704. Winchcombe in Gloucestershire (£405,590) and Tenterden in Kent (£377,293) are the next most expensive. Bakewell is the most expensive market town outside southern England with an average property value of £353,029.
Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: "Home buyers are attracted to the high quality of life, architecture, history, setting and community spirit typically associated with market towns and are accordingly prepared to pay a premium to live in them.
"Market towns are often particularly desirable for those looking to move out of urban areas and into more idyllic surroundings without sacrificing many of the valued amenities they currently enjoy."
Ferryhill in Durham is the least expensive market town in England with an average house price of £75,011. Ferryhill is also the only town in the survey with an average house price below £100,000.
Many of the largest price increases in the past decade have been in market towns in northern England, with nine of the ten top performing towns being in the north. The biggest increase was in Seahouses in Northumberland where the average price rose by 134 per cent from £79,240 to £185,259.