Property prices in market towns in the UK are on average of £30,000 higher than others in their county, new research has found.
The average house price in market towns, at £231,163, is 7.1 times average gross annual earnings, the survey from Lloyds TSB also shows.
More than two thirds of market towns have higher house prices than neighbouring towns and 69% of market towns have a higher average house price than their county average.
Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire has the largest premium with houses trading at 145% above the average house price in the county. Wetherby has the next highest premium with prices 99% above the West Yorkshire average.
Beaconsfield is the most expensive English market town with an average house price of £736,585. Eighteen other market towns have an average house price exceeding £300,000. All ten of the most expensive market towns in England are in the south.
While Wetherby in West Yorkshire is the most expensive market town outside southern England with an average house price of £311,140.
Ferryhill in Durham is the least expensive market town in England with an average house price of £98,799 as of August 2010. Ferryhill is also the only town in the survey with an average house price below £100,000.
Only ten market towns have an average house price below £150,000. Three out of the ten most inexpensive market towns are in County Durham.
‘Homes in market towns command a significant premium over their neighbouring towns with the quality of life benefits often associated with living in such locations still proving popular among homebuyers,’ said Martin Ellis of Lloyds TSB.
‘Market towns are often particularly attractive for those looking to move into more idyllic surroundings without sacrificing many of the important amenities they currently enjoy,’ he added.