England’s most and least expensive market towns for home buyers revealed

Home buyers face a typical premium of £36,116 to live in England’s market towns, according to analysis.

The average house price across the country’s market towns in 2020 was £321,780, Halifax found.

This was 13% or £36,116 higher on average than the price someone would pay on average to live in the surrounding area.

Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire cemented its position as the most expensive market town in England having also ranked first in 2018 and 2019.

Homes in the town command an average price of £1.13 million.

The average house price in England’s least expensive market town, Ferryhill in Durham, was £86,351 in 2020 – £1,047,942 less than the average in Beaconsfield.

House hunters in County Durham have some of the most affordable opportunities to benefit from beautiful countryside, historic locations, and good links to vibrant cities, the report said.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Market towns offer so much for house buyers, including rich history, period properties, green spaces and tourism. And while they might still come at a premium, many market town homes are much more affordable – like Ferryhill and Crook in County Durham where average house prices are under £150,000.”

Henley-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames is one of England’s most expensive market towns, according to Halifax (Steve Parsons/PA)

The top three most expensive market towns remain unchanged compared with 2019, with Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, (£858,772) and Alresford, Hampshire, (£703,371) taking second and third spots respectively.

Beaconsfield also commands the biggest premium compared with house prices in the surrounding county, with average property values there costing 155% more than the county average.

After Beaconsfield, home buyers face the biggest market town premiums in Wetherby, West Yorkshire (98%), Alresford (97%), Keswick in Cumbria (95%), and Bakewell in Derbyshire (94%). The premiums in all these areas increased compared with 2019, Halifax said.

Mr Galley added: “Anyone looking to make the most of their budget could do well to consider looking at the towns and villages near to a historic market town, which can be close enough to take advantage of all the benefits associated with these areas, whilst perhaps avoiding the premium price tag.”

– Here are the 10 market towns with the highest premium-to-county house prices in 2020, according to Halifax. Figures show the average house price in the market town followed by the average house price in the county, and the premium in percentage and cash terms:

1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, £1,134,293, £445,269, 155%, £689,024

2. Wetherby, West Yorkshire, £395,315, £199,610, 98%, £195,705

3. Alresford, Hampshire, £703,371, £357,849, 97%, £345,522

4. Keswick, Cumbria, £385,071, £197,490, 95%, £187,582

5. Bakewell, Derbyshire, £424,491, £218,706, 94%, £205,785

6. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, £858,772, £447,213, 92%, £411,559

=7. Southwell, Nottinghamshire, £374,281, £209,002, 79%, £165,279

=7. Altrincham, Cheshire, £499,792, £279,252, 79%, £220,540

9. Stamford, Lincolnshire, £371,608, £219,080, 70%, £152,528

10. Marlborough, Wiltshire, £514,491, £307,400, 67%, £207,091

– Here are the 10 most expensive market towns in England in 2020, according to Halifax:

1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, South East, £1,134,293

2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, South East, £858,772

3. Alresford, Hampshire, South East, £703,371

4. Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, South West, £557,168

5. Ringwood, Hampshire, South East, £534,330

6. Tenterden, Kent, South East, £524,092

7. Petersfield, Hampshire, South East, £515,175

8. Lewes, Sussex, South East, £514,868

9. Marlborough, Wiltshire, South West, £514,491

10. Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, South West, £509,798

– And here are the 10 least expensive market towns in England in 2020, according to Halifax:

1. Ferryhill, Durham, North East, £86,351

2. Crook, Durham, North East, £125,807

3. Immingham, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the Humber, £143,336

4. Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, North East, £150,439

5. Stanhope, Durham, North East, £172,746

6. Tickhill, Derbyshire, East Midlands, £177,344

7. Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, North East, £177,877

8. Guisborough, North Yorkshire, North East, £178,923

9. Boston, Lincolnshire, East Midlands, £186,960

10. Chesterfield, Derbyshire, East Midlands, £189,581