Buying a home in an English market town costs £25,000 more, new research shows

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House prices in market towns in England are on average £24,766 or 12% higher than their county average, according to research from Lloyds Bank. Two out of three market towns in England have an average house price that is above their county average. Beaconsfield in South Buckinghamshire has the largest house price premium with homes trading at 156% or £501,648 above the county average. Wetherby has the next highest premium with prices 99% or £157,016 above the West Yorkshire average, followed by Bakewell in the Derbyshire Peaks at 88% or £147,224. Overall one in eight market towns in the survey have a house price premium of at least £100,000 and 10 of the most expensive market towns are in southern England. Beaconsfield is also the most expensive English market town with an average house price of £822,753. Petersfield in Hampshire at £402,216 and Cranbrook in Kent at £393,778 are the next most expensive market towns in England. Outside southern England, Bakewell is the most expensive market town with an average property value of £314,966. Three of the top five least expensive market towns are in County Durham. Ferryhill has an average house price of £85,763, followed by Crook at £106,591 and Stanhope at £128,114. The other towns include Immingham at £110,565 and Tickhill at £133,550. ‘Market towns are important hubs of social interaction and cohesion, as well as providers of employment and support for local business. Market towns are also, in most cases, very attractive places to live,’ said Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank. ‘This is reflected in the majority of market towns having higher property prices than their surrounding counties, a premium that increased in the past decade,’ he explained. He pointed out that home buyers continue to be attracted to the high quality of life, architecture, history, setting and community spirit offered by market towns and are prepared to pay a premium to live there. The research also shows that the average house price in market towns across England has risen by £60,586 or 34% from £179,535 in 2004 to £240,121 in 2014. This is equivalent to an average rise of £505 per month over the past decade. Two market towns have seen house prices grow by more than 50% since 2004. The biggest increase in prices over the past decade was in Ferryhill where the average price rose by 76% from £48,743 to £85,763. Ferryhill is followed by Saffron Walden in Essex at 59%, Lewes on the south coast at 48%, then Beaconsfield, Midhurst in West Sussex, Berwick upon Tweed and Yately in Hampshire all 47%. Nine out of 10 market towns have seen prices rise since the bottom of the housing market in 2009. Contrary to the decade as whole, it has been market towns in the south that have performed best in the past few years. Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire recorded the largest price growth in the past five years at 37%, followed by Saffron Walden at 36% and Yateley at 36%. The average… Continue reading →

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