Property prices double in market towns

12 June 2004
House prices in market towns have seen a huge rises as city dwellers try to escape the urban sprawl.

The exodus from the concrete jungle to a more rural location has meant that property prices have more than doubled since 1995.

Halifax, which carried out the research, focused on house prices in 112 English market towns, with populations of between 3,000 and 30,000.

The chief economist at Halifax, Martin Ellis, said: "Market towns are usually very attractive places to live. This is reflected in the majority of market towns having higher property prices than their surrounding counties and the more than doubling in average prices since 1995 in all but a few exceptions."

Halifax discovered that ten market towns in England have an average house price in excess of £250,000. Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire tops the list, with an average price of £550,495, followed by Midhurst in West Sussex (£279,840) and Ringwood in Hampshire (£279,266).

Thirty-six market towns have an average house price above £200,000, with the overwhelming majority being in the South East and the South West.

Midhurst in West Sussex recorded the biggest price rise since 1995, witnessing an increase of 223 per cent. Bodmin in Cornwall was a close second with 221 per cent growth.

Overall, house prices have at least doubled in all the market towns examined since 1995 with only four exceptions; and two-thirds of them have an average house price above the average for their county.