Living near a branch of Waitrose adds an average of £40,000 to the value of your home - and it's not just Waitrose. A new study has revealed that being within easy reach of any well-known supermarket can boost the value of your property by £22,000 - and even having a nearby discount supermarket can mean your house is worth more than elsewhere in town.
The study, by Lloyds Bank, found that the long held theory of a Waitrose Effect held up to scrutiny. Properties near a branch were worth around £38,666 (or 10%) more than those further away in the same town. Waitrose, the researchers said, was the most valuable supermarket to live near.
The second most valuable supermarket to have on the doorstep was a Sainsbury's, which added an average of £27,939. This was followed by Marks & Spencer, which added £27,182, then Tesco, which added £22,072.
Less upmarket brands added less value - but they still boosted prices Having an Iceland handy adds £20,034 to the value of the average property, while having a local Asda adds £5,026, Lidl £3,926 and Aldi £1,333.
Mike Songer, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Director, commented: "Our findings back-up the so-called 'Waitrose effect'. There is definitely a correlation between the price of your home and whether it's close to a major supermarket or not."
Interestingly, in the past, the Aldi effect has been noted, where having a discount brand on your doorstep is associated with being in a less valuable part of town. However, this research reveals that this is no longer the case. Certainly the price bump is smaller, but it is still there.
The phenomenon conjures up visions of middle class families viewing an area and deciding it must be good because there's a Waitrose on the corner. But while there may be a subconscious snobbery at work, the there's far more going on than this.
Waitrose and M&S tend to be in the centre of town, surrounded by other shops and amenities. It means that in many cases, people aren't just paying to be near M&S or Waitrose, but to be in the heart of the town.
The discounters, on the other hand, were often built later than the big brands, and as a result, tend to be built further out and in the cheaper parts of town - because the land was cheap. In the past, this means that their neighbours were some of the cheaper houses in town. This is no longer the case, for two reasons.
The first is the fact that many towns have continued to grow, so an Aldi near the outskirts has become one much further in. We also have to consider the fact that the discounters are increasingly targeting more upmarket areas, and working hard to draw middle class shoppers in through the doors. This means being situated in areas with higher house prices.
But what do you think? Would you pay more to live near a supermarket, or are you convinced this is all a matter of coincidence? Let us know in the comments.