ONE has a pudding named after it and the other nestles in the heart of Yorkshire’s “golden triangle.” But what both Bakewell, in the Derbyshire Dales, and Wetherby, have in common is that they are now among the most highly sought after market towns in the country, commanding house prices 100 per cent of the county average. A survey by Lloyds found market towns, with their rural charm and easy access to amenities, on average carried a £24,000 premium compared to their county neighbours.
On average prices in market towns have increased by £460 every month over the last decade, with a 28% increase in the typical price since 2005 meaning a buyer will pay around £250,686 for a home. Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire - close to the Chilterns and within commuting distance of London - boasted the biggest price premium, with homes trading at £652,178 or 189% above the county average. It also came at the top of the ten dearest market towns in the country - with none in the North appearing. However outside southern England, homes in Bakewell were the most expensive, with homes costing around £351,092. Both Bakewell and Wetherby (average £325,677) had prices which were double the county average, Lloyds found. Alex Bird, of family-run Renton and Parr estate agents, said he wasn’t surprised by Wetherby’s inclusion in the top ten. He said: “Wetherby is a historic market town in the heart of the golden triangle between York, Harrogate and Leeds. “Today is market day and there are probably 200 people out. It’s walkable, has a nice golf club and good schools. It still has around 10 pubs and inns. On Spofforth Hill you are talking prices of up to £900,000. On the other hand we have four offers on a particular property just off Deighton Road and we’ve had four offers to date and it will go above asking price. That’s at a relatively affordable £300,000.” Bakewell meanwhile, with a population of around 4,000, according to the 2011 census, is known as the foodie capital of the Peak District. Its courtyards, independent shops and location on the River Wye, make it a popular destination, and is known for its Well Dressings and summer art festival and carnival. Valuer David Hosling, of estate agent Saxton Mee, said: “It has always attracted the high end, the upper classes, people who come from London with bags of money and want to retire to a nice place. The average age has risen along with the average price. “Everywhere is within reasonable distance - Manchester an hour or so, Sheffield 30 to 35 minutes, Derby within an hour. “Prices have plateaued in the last three to four years, but it is a safe bet for investment - no one loses money round here.” SOURCE