£50,000 spa town 'premium' revealed
House prices in spa towns in England and Wales are around 27% or £48,123 higher than those in their county generally, averaging £275,397 last year, Lloyds TSB said.
Prices in these towns have climbed by £1,077 a month typically and nearly £130,000 overall since 2001, a total figure 12% higher than the average monetary increase. The hikes mean that homes in spa towns now cost 8.3 times gross annual earnings, up from six times earnings in 2001.
Nine out of 10 homes in these towns were found to command higher prices than in neighbouring locations, with Ilkley in West Yorkshire boasting the highest premium, at almost double the prices in surrounding areas.
Prices in spa towns have increased by 88% over the last decade, although house prices across England and Wales have gone up at a higher rate of 99%. However, five spa towns have seen house prices more than double in the past decade.
The largest increases were seen in mid Wales, in Builth Wells, which saw a 170% rise to reach £183,050 and Llandrindod Wells, where prices went up by 109% to average £155,469. They were followed by Harrogate in North Yorkshire, which saw a 107% rise to stand at £264,113.
Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: "Homes in spa towns continue to command a substantial premium over their neighbouring areas with the quality of life benefits and sense of history that typically characterise such locations still resonating amongst home buyers.
"However, as a consequence of rising property prices, housing market conditions in spa towns have become tougher over the past decade, particularly for those looking to get on the property ladder for the first time."
Epsom in Surrey was named as the most expensive spa town, with an average house price of £339,231 and typical prices topped £250,000 in half of the 18 towns studied. Land Registry sales figures were used for the survey.
© 2012 Press Association