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Is it worth the £33K premium to buy in a market town?

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14/02/2020
The market town mark-up is significant across all regions of the country
Is it worth the £33K premium to buy in a market town?

If you want to buy a home in one of England’s market towns, you’ll face an average premium of £33K compared to an equivalent home in the same county, said Lloyds Bank.

The markup to live in a market town is 12% of the property price, down 3% since a year ago. However, the lender noted that the most popular market towns command prices nearly double their county average.

Top price premiums

House hunters looking to buy a place in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, for example, can expect to pay a premium of 162% (£679,577) more than the rest of the county, with homes in the town exceeding £1m on average.

Alongside Beaconsfield, the South East has two other entrants in the top 10 market towns with the highest property premiums – Henley-on-Thames in second place at 97% (£399,203) and Alresford at 69% (£231,067) in 9th place.

But it isn’t just a Southern phenomenon. In the North West, Keswick commands a 90% premium (£172,020) and Altrincham homebuyers pay an extra 83% (£218,508).

In the East Midlands, Bakewell’s markup is 96% (£198,279) and Southwell’s is 75% (£147,397). In Yorkshire, Wetherby commands an 86% premium (£160,625).

Andrew Mason, mortgage director at Lloyds Bank, explained the appeal: “Market towns have a long-standing reputation for being packed with typical English charm – with cobbled streets, bustling market stalls and historic buildings all contributing to the appeal for many people looking to set up home.

“This popular lifestyle undoubtedly comes with a property premium – as much as double the county average in some hotspots – so those considering making a market town their home should consider how it compares with the relative value for money that alternative areas have to offer.”

Cheapest market towns

The cheapest market town is Ferryhill, where the average property price is £91,153. The least expensive market towns are all in regions within the North of England, with the exception of Tickhill, Derbyshire in the East Midlands.

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