Lloyds Bank has calculated that homebuyers looking to live in a market town will need to pay a premium of £30,788 compared to neighbouring areas.
House prices in English market towns typically command a premium and have grown, on average, by 21% in the past five years to an average price of £280,690 – 7.9 times the average gross earnings of all full time workers across England.
House prices in market towns across England are, on average, £30,788 or 12% higher than their county average and 67% of market towns cost more when compared to the rest of their county. Since 2015, house prices in these areas have grown by £6,850.
South East England dominates the top 10 most expensive market towns with Beaconsfield being the most expensive, with an average house price of £1,049,659 – the first market town to break above the £1 million mark. Henley on Thames (£831,452) and Alfresford 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 – close to the Chiltern Hills and within a 40 minute commute to London – also carries the largest house price premium with homes costing 161% (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%) 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 Durham, are the least expensive market towns.
Immingham in Lincolnshire follows with an average house price of £115,769 with further Durham towns Stanhope (£142,535) and Saltburn (£144,717) next.
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.”