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.”
10 most expensive market towns in England for home buyers according to Halifax, with the average house price:
Beaconsfield, South East £1,053,975
Henley-on-Thames, South East, £838,206
Alresford, South East, £542,614
Cranbrook, South East, £492,333
Petersfield, South East, £483,222
Thame, South East, £477,664
Lewes, South East, £460,671
Hertford, South East, £449,963
Saffron Walden, South East, £441,709
Marlborough, South West, £441,296
10 least expensive market towns in England for home buyers according to Halifax, with the average house price:
Ferryhill, North East, £78,317
Immingham, Yorkshire and Humberside, £115,765
Crook, North East, £115,975
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North East, £142,849
Stanhope, North East, £146,126
Tickhill, East Midlands, £147,761
Guisborough, Yorkshire and Humberside, £153,966
Marsden, Yorkshire and Humberside, £155,439
Boston, East Midlands, £159,403
Berwick-upon-Tweed, North East, £165,437