The Most Expensive Places to Live in Britain
People often lust after how the other half live, but have you ever wondered where the other half live? Addresses are Hopewiser’s speciality, so it should come as little or no surprise that discovering one of The Times’ latest “Bricks & Mortar” columns started turning the cogs in our postcode driven minds.
“The towns and villages in the millionaire club” states that according to a study conducted by Zoopla there are currently 768,553 property millionaires in Britain. Where are these residents situated, we ask ourselves? Unsurprisingly, Southern towns and villages are common occurrences in the research from Savills. For example, the most expensive area from the sample of 30 locations with more than 10,000 residents is Cobham, Surrey. This leafy suburb has an average property value of £1.183 million. Wow! A likely reason for this hefty housing price is probably due to the fact that the area is home to the training ground of Chelsea Football Club. Therefore, it is popular with both footballers and other affluent people who can afford 7 digit figures.
In addition to Cobham, areas such as Beaconsfield (avg. property price £1.004 million) and Radlett (avg. property price £1.026 million) have long been renowned as wealthy commuter belts for those professionals who want to maintain the balanced lifestyle of working in the city and living in the suburbs. Why is this? Well, could you imagine how much your 5 bedroom house would cost in central London? It doesn’t bear thinking about. Not to mention the fact that you probably wouldn’t have a garden, and would have traffic noise to contend with. No thanks. So that’s why the upper-end professionals from the likes of Beaconsfield purchase a season ticket from Chiltern Railways to the tune of £3,180. This is a small price to pay for the comfort of a conservatory and a sizeable garden for your young ones.
However, what pleased us at Hopewiser is that our neighbouring village of Hale, Greater Manchester came 14th in the list with over 10,000 residents. With an average house price of £623,892, it is that popular with footballers (many playing for Manchester United) that Hill Top has been dubbed “Footballers Row”, according to The Times.
Located just 4 miles from Manchester Airport and 12 miles from Manchester City Centre, Hale is ideal for people looking to upsize from surrounding areas. Additionally, at just 1 hour and 50 minutes train journey from London, the area has seen “38% of purchasers in the past year coming from outside the North West”, claims Andrew Thorpe, director of Savills, Wilmslow.
Hopewiser’s Quality Assurance Manager, Andy Saunders, grew up in Hale and lived there for 20 years.
“The area has a really nice village with lots of little shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. It’s on the outskirts of Manchester, so on one side you have the village, the train station and Metrolink, but then you have the countryside as well. We have the River Bollin here which is nice to walk along.
“It’s popular with footballers because there are lots of big houses with tree lined streets meaning there are high levels of privacy for them. There’s plenty of places for them to eat out, and the more footballers there are in the area the less they feel bothered by members of the public. In my youth I used to see Bryan Robson amongst many others.”
The “Urban Renaissance” in the North of England is a leading factor in the rising prosperity of its major cities. For example, increased population and job opportunities have contributed to this. The Northern Powerhouse has aided economic growth in areas such as Manchester, Newcastle, and Leeds, by making improvements to transport links and industry as a whole. Additionally, the construction of MediaCityUK at Salford Quays, Greater Manchester saw the BBC establish a larger presence in the North. Andy believes that this has made a significant difference to South Manchester, particularly Hale and Altrincham, having noticed a steady rise in housing prices.
Despite our joy that Hale is putting the area on the map, we can’t help but wonder as to why other Cheshire villages haven’t been selected for the millionaire’s list. Alderley Edge has an average housing price of £610,490, and Bowdon comes up at £711,342. Whatever the reason for this is, the aforementioned property values clearly suggest that these boroughs share a similar level of affluence to Hale.
“The other reason why Hale and Altrincham are so desirable is because they have a number of very good grammar schools, such as the nearby Altrincham Grammar School for Girls which is probably one of the top girls schools in the country.
“The popularity of surrounding areas tends to swing in roundabouts. Sometimes Alderley Edge will be very popular for a time before it swings back to Hale or Wilmslow. At the end of the day they’re all nice leafy places to live and all within easy reach of each other.”
This blog post is part of a series that analyses freely available data. Do you live in one of the areas that we or The Times have mentioned in our study? If so, please get in touch as we would love to know your views on how property prices vary across the country. Also, make sure you download our free and easy-to-use app, Proximity, to find your nearest transport, healthcare, and educational facilities.