Would you pay a £30,000 premium to live in a market town?

Thanks to their rural charm, historic buildings and amenities, market towns command much higher house prices than their neighbouring towns

Homebuyers are prepared to pay more than £30,000 extra to live in a British market town.

This is according to mortgage lender Lloyds Bank, who carried out a study and discovered that a typical home in an English market town costs £280,690, an average of £30,788 more than properties in neighbouring towns.

Read more: Calling all first-time buyers – these are the most affordable cities in the UK

Homes in town with trees

Richmond, North Yorkshire

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But why would they be willing to pay such a premium? Market towns have the perfect combination of rural charm, historic buildings and desirable amenities such as shops, restaurants often set around a beautiful square. Factor in good transport links and it's easy to see why they are very attractive places to live.

Thanks to their popularity, house prices in these towns have jumped by an average of 21 per cent over the past five years, but some market towns are significantly more expensive than others. There is a clear north-south divide in the cost of properties in these towns, with the ten most expensive all in the south east, and the ten most affordable all in the north.

Read more: What does a 1 million pound house look like around the UK?

exterior of house with road people and brick walls

(Image credit: Getty Images)

These are this year’s ten most expensive market towns and their average house prices:

10. Saffron Walden, Essex, £441,583
9. Marlborough, Wiltshire, £441,623
8. Hertford, Hertfordshire, £452,843
7. Lewes, Sussex, £463,836
6. Thame, Oxfordshire, £476,365
5. Petersfield, Hampshire, £484,524
4. Cranbrook, Kent, £490,566
3. Alfresford, Hampshire, £541,529
2. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, £831,452
1. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, £1,049,659

These are the ten most affordable market towns this year and their average house prices:

10. Cartmel, Cumbria, £165,335
9. Boston, Lincolnshire, £161,538
8. Marsden, West Yorkshire, £154,830
7. Guisborough, North Yorkshire, £151,309
6. Tickhill, Derbyshire, £147,543
5. Saltburn, Durham, £144,717
4. Stanhope, Durham, £142,535
3. Immingham, Lincolnshire, £115,769
2. Crook, Durham, £115,659
1. Ferryhill, Durham, £78,184

Want the market town life without paying the premium? Looks like a move to the North East could be on the cards...