Local Factors Influence House Prices

Average house prices in the UK have been on a generally upward trend in recent months, but at a more local level prices can be influenced by many different factors.

Market Town Premium

Recent research by Lloyds Bank revealed that house prices in market towns can be significantly higher than neighbouring areas.
 
The average house price premium for living in a market town is currently £30,788 and prices in market towns in England have apparently grown, on average, by 21% in the past five years to an average price of £280,690. This is equivalent to an average rise of £405 per month.  
 
Perhaps unsurprisingly, South East England dominates the top ten 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.
 
More affordable market town living 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.
 
"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,” explained Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds Bank. “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."
 

University Towns

Another factor that can influence local house prices is proximity to a university. Research from Halifax revealed that in the same time it takes to undertake the average degree course (three years), university towns across the UK recorded an increase in average house price of 22.5%.
 
Across 65 university towns, the average house price has grown from £172,179 to £210,845 in three years – an increase of £38,666, equivalent to a rise of £1,074 per month or 22.5% since 2014.
 
The top ten university towns with the largest price growth are all located in southern England. The largest price growth was in Guildford, home to the University of Surrey, which increased in value by £105,362 and also doubles up as the most expensive university town, with an average house price of £511,673. 
 
The greatest percentage increase was in Bedfordshire, where house prices increased by 42% from £200,086 to £284,707 in the last three years. This is followed by Coventry, where the average price has grown from £154,573 to £207,974 – an increase of 35%. The least expensive student town is Paisley, where the University of the West of Scotland is located, with an average price of £122,681 – about quarter of the average price in Guildford.
 
“While it is well documented that the student housing market can be lucrative for private landlords receiving monthly rental incomes, this research also indicates the potential earnings from bricks and mortar alone,” said Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax Community Bank. “Over the last three years, parents who bought a property for their child to live in while undertaking their studies, could have seen an average gain of 22% on the value of the property. They may also have benefitted from rental income from housemates or flat-sharers.”
 

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