Property purchasers aspiring to invest in one of the UK’s market towns face paying a price premium of over £30,000 when compared to neighbouring areas in the same counties, according to latest research from Lloyds Bank.
Using data from the Land Registry for the 12 months to June 2017, Lloyds found that Beaconsfield is the most expensive market town with an average house price of £1,049,659 – the first market town with an average house price over £1 million.
Property prices in these picturesque market towns have grown by 21% in the past five years to an average price of £280,690. The average prices in market towns across the UK are now £30,000 (12%) higher than their county average and the average property price is higher in almost 70% of market towns when compared to the rest of their county.
After Beaconsfield (£1,049,659), Henley on Thames came second with house prices averaging £831,452 and Alresford followed with a typical value of £541,529. Thame (£476,365), Hertford (£452,843) and Saffron Walden (£441,583) also join the top 10 most expensive market towns.
Altrincham is the most expensive market town outside southern England with an average property value of £431,295.
The horse-racing market town of Wetherby was close behind with an average house price of £366,873, more than double the average house price in West Yorkshire (£175,056).
Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds Bank, commented: “Understandably, homebuyers continue to be attracted to the charm and high quality of life offered by market towns and are typically happy to pay extra to live there.”
Areas in the north consist of more affordable market towns. Both Durham areas Ferryhill (£78,184) and Crook (£115,659) make up the least expensive market towns.
Immingham in Lincolnshire also follows with an average house price of £115,769, followed by Durham towns Stanhope (£142,535) and Saltburn (£144,717).
These prices don’t alter the notion that house prices in market towns have risen considerably, with an average of £405 per month in the past five years. The average house price in market towns across the UK has risen by £48,572 (21%), from £232,117 in 2012 to £280,690 in 2017.
Oxfordshire towns Henley on Thames and Thame saw the biggest increase in price since 2012, with a 53% increase in average house prices – Henley on Thames from £288,847 to £831,452 and Thame from £164 to £476,365. Ampthill in Bedfordshire followed closely with a 48% in average house prices, and then Hitchin with 45%.