Home buyers looking to live in one of England’s market towns face paying a typical premium of more than £41,000, a report has found.
House prices in market towns are £41,633 or 17% higher on average than they are in their surrounding county, Halifax found.
With a typical price tag of over £1 million, homes in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, with the countryside of the Chilterns on its doorstep and London also close by, are the most expensive of all the market towns looked at.
Homes in Beaconsfield also carry the biggest premium – costing 158% or £644,995 above the Buckinghamshire county average of £408,980.
Buyers looking for the vibrancy of a market town with a less hefty price tag may want to consider Ferryhill in County Durham, where the average home costs £78,317 – the least expensive in the study.
Such is the appeal of market towns that, over the past five years, house prices in these areas have increased by an average of £915 per month, Halifax said.
The average house price in a market town in England is £290,775 – £54,908 higher than in 2013 when it was £235,867.
Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds Bank, said: “With house prices rising by almost £1,000 a month in the most popular market towns over the past five years, the value put on quality of life and curbside appeal is clear. “Home buyers continue to be attracted to towns on the commuter belt into London and are prepared to pay extra to live there.
“For home buyers who are looking for market charm, but not necessarily needing to commute to London, the most affordable towns reside in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North.”
Here are the 10 most expensive market towns in England for home buyers according to Halifax, with the average house price:
1. Beaconsfield, South East £1,053,975
2. Henley-on-Thames, South East, £838,206
3. Alresford, South East, £542,614
4. Cranbrook, South East, £492,333
5. Petersfield, South East, £483,222
6. Thame, South East, £477,664
7. Lewes, South East, £460,671
8. Hertford, South East, £449,963
9. Saffron Walden, South East, £441,709
10. Marlborough, South West, £441,296
And here are the 10 least expensive market towns in England for home buyers according to Halifax, with the average house price:
1. Ferryhill, North East, £78,317
2. Immingham, Yorkshire and Humberside, £115,765
3. Crook, North East, £115,975
4. Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North East, £142,849
5. Stanhope, North East, £146,126
6. Tickhill, East Midlands, £147,761
7. Guisborough, Yorkshire and Humberside, £153,966
8. Marsden, Yorkshire and Humberside, £155,439
9. Boston, East Midlands, £159,403
10. Berwick-upon-Tweed, North East, £165,437