The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens next week, its second outing since it transferred to Channel 4 with a new judge (Prue Leith) and two new presenters (Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig).
Despite concerns about the move from the BBC, the programme was a ratings smash-hit for Channel 4 and is now back for its ninth series, with 12 new contestants entering the famous tent to whip up their showstoppers and signature dishes as the puns (soggy bottoms, anyone?) flow from the presenters.
Ahead of the new series, live chat firm Yomdel has analysed the tastiest areas across the UK for price growth since last year’s show aired. The research also looked at how house prices in West Berkshire – where Bake Off is filmed – have fared since the programme first hit our screens.
Edinburgh, home to the Scotch pancake, topped the list with growth of 5.7% since last August. Another Star Baker was Sedgemoor – home to Cheddar cheese – which has seen a 5.1% increase in house prices since last year’s series. Cornwall, immediately synonymous with Cornish pasties, has meanwhile seen prices rise by 4.8%.
There have been a few areas, though, that have been more soggy bottom than star baker in the last 12 months. Kensington and Chelsea, birthplace of the Chelsea bun, has seen house prices decline by 8.1% since the show’s last outing. While Richmondshire, home to Wensleydale cheese (made famous by Wallace and Gromit), has witnessed prices decreasing by 3.9% since last August.
In West Devon, which enjoys a fierce cream tea rivalry with near neighbour Cornwall, house prices performed much less well than the home of the Cornish pasty, with a price drop of 3.3% - the third worst house price performance.
Strong uplift in the home of the Bake Off
Price growth has also been strong in the place where the Bake Off tent appears each summer. Since first airing in 2010, the show has opted for the filming location of Welford Park, Newbury. Situated in the West Berkshire district, the average house price stood at £243,096 when Bake Off first hit our screens – 40% higher than the UK average at the time. Since then, the average house price in the area has gone up by 43% - to £346,455 – in comparison to just 32% across the UK as a whole, with house values in West Berkshire mirroring the growing success of the Bake Off itself.
The popularity of Bake Off shows no signs of fading just yet, but house price growth in West Berkshire has dropped slightly, down 1.3% since last year’s show compared to a rise of 1.2% across the UK. Still, prices in the area are 52% higher than the UK average of £228,384, which shouldn’t leave too much of a bitter taste in the mouth of local homeowners.
“Bake Off seems to have the right recipe for success both on screen and where the surrounding property market and local economy are concerned,” Andy Soloman, Yomdel’s business growth guru, said.
“While house price growth has slightly come off the boil in West Berkshire since last year’s series, it has seen a significantly higher rate of growth since Bake Off first aired and there could be a further positive uplift as the crew and cast return to Newbury at the end of the month.”
He added: Unfortunately the same can’t be said for all of the nation’s locations with baking related names, although there has been a tasty increase for the majority that we looked at.”