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Homebuyers are prepared to pay 17% more to live in a market town than in the surrounding area.

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  • The premium homebuyers have to pay to live in a market town has soared by £10,000 during the past year to stand at nearly £42,000.

    The typical property in one of England’s market towns now costs £290,775 – that's £41,633 or 17% more than homes in the surrounding area, according to Lloyds Bank.

    House prices in market towns have risen by 23% in the past decade, as people continue to be prepared to pay extra for the lifestyle benefits these locations offer.

    Why is this happening?

    House prices in market towns are being driven up by a mismatch between supply and demand.

    While many people, particularly those working in London, are attracted by the quality of life market towns offer, their historical nature often means there is a limit to the supply of homes, particularly as there are typically fewer new-build developments nearby.

    The fact that market towns within commuting distance of London are particularly popular is also a significant factor driving prices higher. 

    Who does it affect?

    Market towns in the home countries have seen the biggest price increases during the past decade as people working in London look to take advantage of the lifestyle benefits they offer.

    The average cost of home in Beaconsfield, which is within 40 minutes of London, has soared by 80% to stand at £1.05 million.

    Property values in Yateley in Hampshire, Thame in Oxfordshire and Hitchin in Hertfordshire have all also soared by more than 60% since 2008.

    Across England as a whole, the price of property in a market town has risen nearly eight times faster than average earnings for fulltime workers.

    The situation is leading to local people increasingly being priced out of the property market in these locations.

    Above: This immaculate six-bedroom detached house in Beaconsfield has been extended and beautifully renovated. It's up for sale at £2,150,000 with Bovingdons

    What’s the background?

    Beaconsfield is not only England’s most expensive market town, but property there also commands the biggest premium on the rest of the county at 158%.

    Henley on Thames is the second most expensive market town with homes costing around £838,206 or 105% more than in the surrounding area.

    But for those with smaller budgets who want the lifestyle that comes with living in a market town, there are a number of more affordable options.

    Ferryhill in County Durham is the cheapest market town with the average home there costing just £78,317, while in Immingham, in Lincolnshire, and Crook, also in County Durham, properties typically cost less than £116,000.

    The north is the most affordable region in which to purchase a property in a market town, with five of the cheapest towns located there, while there are three in Yorkshire and Humberside and two in the East Midlands.

    Top three takeaways

    • The typical property in one of England’s market towns now costs £290,775

    • The premium homebuyers have to pay to live in a market town has soared by £10,000 during the past year

    • House prices in market towns have risen by 23% in the past decade

    When will your home be worth £1million? 

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