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Property in most market towns is more expensive than the average house price in the surrounding county, says new research…
Halifax's new Market Town Review has revealed that 67 per cent of market towns have higher house prices than the county average.
Trading at the highest premium was the town of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where house prices were 144 per cent greater than the county's average.
In addition, the town averaged by far-and-away the heftiest price tag of all the 112 market towns surveyed in England, at £704,724.
A further 19 of the 25 most expensive market towns were located in southern England.
However, in terms of price growth over the last five years, the majority of top performers hailed from the North, with Seahouses in Northumberland recording the most substantial gains of 111 per cent over this time.
While prices in Saltburn, Durham grew by the same amount, they averaged a more affordable £140,524 compared to Seahouses' average of £203,061.
Despite recording the third highest price growth (99 per cent) between 2003 and 2005, Ferryhill in Durham was easily the most affordable of all the market towns with an average house price of £84,982.
Meanwhile the lowest price growth was reserved for those market towns down south, with bricks and mortar in Midhurst, Sussex, rising by just 21 per cent over the last five years.
Lymm in Cheshire (28 per cent) and Ross On Wye, Herefordshire (44 per cent) were the two non-southern exceptions to the slow-growing five-year field.
Martin Ellis Chief Economist at Halifax comments: "Home buyers continue to be attracted to the high quality of life, architecture, history, setting and community spirit offered by market towns and are prepared to pay a premium to live there.
"Most market towns have higher house prices than other towns in their county. The majority have also seen stronger house price growth than the English average over the past five years."
Highest Premium Market Towns
Market Towns With Highest Price Growth 2003-2008
9 September 2008
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