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Spa towns show healthy return for home owners

Saturday, 3 March 2012 10:00 AM

Spa towns are good for your financial health if you are lucky enough to own a home in one, according to a new survey by Lloyds TSB.

The bank found that average house prices in the towns where the sick used to take to the waters have risen by 88 per cent in the last ten years.

They have grown from £129,203 in 2001 to £275,397 in 2011 – the equivalent of £1,077 a month.

More significantly, that is 12 per cent or £13,595 more than the average as a whole and buyers have to part with an extra £48,000 to live in a spa town.

Builth Wells in Wales had the biggest price rise in the last decade with a hike of 170 per cent. Llandrindod Wells, Harrogate, Buxton, Boston Spa and Knaresborough also saw prices double. Epsom (62 per cent) and Droitwich (70 per cent saw the smallest increases).

Prices are higher than in the surrounding area in 16 of the 18 spa towns in England and Wales, with Ilkley seeing a 96 per cent premium to West Yorkshire.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: "Homes in spa towns continue to command a substantial premium over their neighbouring areas with the quality of life benefits and sense of history that typically characterise such locations still resonating amongst home buyers.

"However, as a consequence of rising property prices, housing market conditions in spa towns have become tougher over the past decade, particular for those looking to get on the property ladder for the first time."

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