House prices in English market towns command a premium and have grown by 21% over the past five years, according to research from Lloyds Bank.

Whats the latest?

Homebuyers are prepared to pay a £30,000 premium for the lifestyle benefits that come from living in a market town.

The typical home in an English market town costs £280,690, an average of £30,788 or 12% more than properties in neighbouring towns, according to mortgage lender Lloyds.

House prices in these towns have jumped by 21% during the past five years, with homes in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England’s most expensive market town, now commanding seven-figure price tags.

Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds, 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.”

10 most expensive market towns 2017
Market town County Region Average house price  2017 (£)*
Beaconsfield Buckinghamshire South East 1,049,659
Henley-on-Thames Oxfordshire South East 831,452
Alfresford Hampshire South East 541,529
Cranbrook Kent South East 490,566
Petersfield Hampshire South East 484,524
Thame Oxfordshire South East 476,365
Lewes Sussex South East 463,836
Hertford Hertfordshire South East 452,843
Marlborough Wiltshire South West 441,623
Saffron Walden Essex South East 441,583

Why is this happening?

Market towns typically combine rural charm with a certain level of amenities, such as shops, restaurants and transport links.

Unsurprisingly, this combination of factors makes them attractive places to live, increasing demand and driving up prices.

Meanwhile, because of their historic nature, there are generally not many new-build developments in or close to market towns, meaning the supply of properties remains limited.

At the same time, a number of market towns in the south east are within commutable distance of London, making them particularly appealing to people who work in the capital but do not want to live there.