Market town house prices rocket by 50% in a decade

24th November 2013

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The typical house price in market towns across England has soared by 50% over the past decade from £153,776 to £230,061 according to research from Lloyds Bank writes Philip Scott.

The rise is equivalent to an average uptick of £636 per month over the 10 years and today property prices in market towns are on average £14,000, or 6% higher than their county mean.

In addition the analysis found that two out of three market towns have an average house price that is above their county average. Beaconsfield is the most expensive English market town with an average house price of £861,371 and also has the largest premium with houses trading at 181% or £554,917 above the county average. Bakewell has the next highest premium with prices at 99%, or £160,459 above the Derbyshire average, followed by Keswick in Cumbria, at 95% higher.

10 of the most expensive market towns are in southern England

Lewes in Sussex at £382,219 and Cranbrook in Kent, at £381,598 are the next most expensive market towns in England after Beaconsfield. Bakewell is the most expensive market town outside southern England with an average property value of £322,519.

Ferryhill in County Durham for its part is the least expensive market town in England with an average house price of £84,018. Ferryhill and Immingham in Yorkshire and the Humber at £97,722 are the only towns in the survey where the average house price is below £100,000.

Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, says: “The popularity of living in market towns is clearly evident from the significant premium that many of them command over their neighbouring towns. Indeed, recent government research concludes that cities and smaller towns should try and replicate the community spirit, thriving high streets and social networks often seen in market towns.

“Market towns offer an excellent quality of life, with high levels of health and low crime and unemployment; they also tend to have higher levels of retired people and young couples without children. Market towns are seen as desirable places to live – small enough for people to feel included but large enough to remain private.”

Eight of the 10 market towns recording the largest price increases are in northern England with five in the North East. The biggest increase was in Saltburn on the north east coast where the average price rose by 94% from £68,899 to £133,889. Saltburn is followed by Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland, with an 85% rise, Seahouses in Northumberland, up 84% and Ferryhill 77% higher.

Notably average house prices have risen in seven out of 10 market towns 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 four years at 45%, followed by Didcot in Oxfordshire, up 27% and Horsham in Sussex, 25% stronger.

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