Market town home owners pay a premium of £24,000

People buying a home in a market town in England face a premium of £24,000 with one in ten such towns having a price premium of at least £100,000, new research shows.

Overall house prices in market towns have increased by an average of £460 per month since 2005 and the average house price in an English market town, at £250,686, is 7.2 times average gross earnings of all full time workers.

The research from Lloyds Bank shows that prices in market towns across England are on average £23,938 or 11% higher than their county average.

However, with its location close to the Chiltern Hills and within a 40 minute commute to London Beaconsfield in South Buckinghamshire has the largest house price premium across England, with homes selling at 189% or £652,178 above the county average.

Bakewell in the Derbyshire Dales, close to the famous Chatsworth House, and Wetherby in West Yorkshire both have an average house price that is double their county average; in cash terms the premiums are £175,327 and £162,995 respectively.

In fact, one in 10 of the market towns in the survey have a house price premium of at least £100,000. They include Southwell in Nottinghamshire with an average premium of £131,419), Keswick in Cumbria at £130,100, Cheltenham in Gloucestershire at £128,591 and Ringwood in Hampshire at £125,175.

Southern England dominates the top 10 most expensive market towns. With
Beaconsfield top with an average house price of £997,222, next is Lewes at £408,641 and Midhurst at £403,893, both in Sussex.

Outside southern England, Bakewell is the most expensive market town with an average property value of £351,092, the research also shows.

The average house price in market towns across England has risen by £55,179 or 28% from £195,507 in 2005 to £250,686 in 2015. This is equivalent to an average rise of £460 per month over the past decade.

The biggest increase in prices over the past decade was in Beaconsfield where the average price rose by 71% or £414,126 followed by Didcot in Oxfordshire at 52% or £101,374, Lewes on the south coast at 51% or £138,733, Yateley at 45% or £105,262, then Thame, Petersfield, Ferryhill, and Cirencester all at 43%.

‘Homes in market towns typically command a significant premium over their neighbouring towns. The quality of life benefits often associated with living in such locations are still proving popular among home buyers,’ said Andy Mason, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank.

‘Market towns are often particularly attractive for those looking to move into more idyllic surroundings without sacrificing many of the important amenities they currently enjoy,’ he added.