Friday, 23 February 2018

Henley is second most expensive market town

HENLEY has been named the second most expensive market town to buy a home in England.

Research by Lloyds Bank found that homebuyers looking to live in a picturesque English market town will will need to pay a premium of £30,788 on average compared with neighbouring areas.

House prices in English market towns typically command a premium and have grown, on average, by 21 per cent in the past five years to an average price of £280,690 — 7.9 times the average gross earnings of all full-time workers in England.

House prices in market towns across England are, on average, £30,788 or 12 per cent higher than their county average and nearly seven in 10 (67 per cent) market towns cost more when compared with the rest of their county. Since 2015, house prices in these areas have grown by £6,850.

The South East of England dominates the top 10 most expensive market towns — with Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire being the most expensive with an average house price of £1,049,659 — the first market town to break the £1 million mark.

Henley (£831,452) and Alresford in Hampshire (£541,529) are the next most expensive market towns. New towns in the South East to break the top 10 most expensive are Thame (£476,365), Hertford (£452,843) and Saffron Walden (£441,583). Outside southern England, Altrincham is the most expensive market town with an average property value of £431,295.

Beaconsfield, which benefits from being close to the Chiltern Hills and with a 40-minute commute to London, also carries the largest house price premium — with homes costing 161 per cent (or £647,623) above the county average of £402,036.

The horse racing market town of Wetherby has the second highest premium, with an average house price that is more than double (110 per cent) the average house price in West Yorkshire (£366,873 against £175,056).

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 County Durham, are the least expensive market towns.

Immingham in Lincolnshire is next on £115,769 followed by County Durham towns Stanhope (£142,535) and Saltburn (£144,717).

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, with many homes in Beaconsfield costing more than £1 million.”

House prices in market towns have risen by an average of £405 per month in past five years The average house price in market towns across England has risen by £48,572 (or 21%) from £232,117 in 2012 to £280,690 in 2017. This is equivalent to an average rise of £405 per month over the past five years.

Oxfordshire towns Henley and Thame had the biggest increase in price since 2012, where the average house price rose by 53 per cent for both towns — Henley by £288,847 to £831,452 and Thame by £164,582 to £476,365. Following the two Oxfordshire towns is Ampthill in Bedfordshire (48 per cent or £116,361) and then Hitchin (45 per cent or £120,933).

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