Market towns carry an average premium of £30,000
The lender said homebuyers looking to live in one of England’s picturesque market towns will need to pay a premium of £30,788 compared to neighbouring areas.
House prices in English market towns are, on average, 12% higher than their county average. Over the past five years they have risen by 21% and now stand at £280,690. Lloyds Bank said this was 7.9 times the average gross earnings of all full-time workers across England.
Beaconsfield tops the list of the most expensive market towns and has become the first in which average house prices are over £1m, with an average house price of £1,049,659. Henley on Thames (£831,452) and Alfresford in Hampshire (£541,529) are the next most expensive market towns.
For homebuyers looking for more affordable market town living, bargains can be found in northern England. Ferryhill with an average property value of £78,184 and Crook (£115,659), both in Durham, are the least expensive market towns.
Immingham in Lincolnshire follows with an average house price of £115,769 with further Durham towns Stanhope (£142,535) and Saltburn (£144,717) coming next.
Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Understandably, homebuyers continue to be attracted to the charm and high quality of life offered by market towns and are typically happy to pay extra to live there. The most expensive market towns are found in the South East at a commutable distance from London.”
Oxfordshire towns Henley on Thames and Thame had the biggest increase in price since 2012, where the average house price rose by 53% for both – Henley on Thames by £288,847 to £831,452 and Thame by £164,582 to £476,365.
Following the two Oxfordshire towns is Ampthill in Bedfordshire (up 48% or £116,361) and then Hitchin (up 45% or £120,933).