By Ian Lewis
Buying a home in a picturesque market town might sound idyllic but it's likely to come at a high cost, according to a new report.
House prices in one town are, on average, more than half a million pounds pricier than the typical home in the surrounding county.
Cost of market town homes going up
The Lloyds Bank research found people are typically paying £230,061 to buy a house in an English market town - six per cent more than the country's average home price of £216,143.
But in Beaconsfield - a commuter town situated in the Chiltern Hills - the average home is worth £861,371, almost three times more than the typical house in the rest of Buckinghamshire
The country's second biggest percentage premium is being paid by homebuyers in Bakewell, where houses typically cost £322,519 compared to a Derbyshire average of £162,060.
Located in the Derbyshire Dales, Bakewell is near the tourist attractions of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall and within easy reach of both Manchester and Sheffield.
Meanwhile, those buying in the Lake District town of Keswick, face having to fork out an average of £316,413.
This means a premium of more than £150,000 on top of typical prices for the rest of Cumbria.
Market town house prices higher than the average
According to the Lloyds report, which used Land Registry house sale figures to reach its findings, house prices in two-thirds of England's market towns are higher than the average for their county.
Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: "Market towns offer an excellent quality of life, with high levels of health and low crime and unemployment.
"They also tend to have higher levels of retired people and young couples without children.
"Market towns are seen as desirable places to live - small enough for people to feel included but large enough to remain private."
House prices under £100,000
Immingham in Lincolnshire and Ferryhill in County Durham were the only two market towns where average house prices were found to be under £100,000.
Ferryhill was found to be England's most inexpensive market town of all, offering average house prices of £84,018.
A separate study, recently carried out by American Express, found than over the last 10 years an average of £40,000 has been added to house prices in areas close to high streets that boast successful independent shops and businesses.
Homeowners in those areas, it suggested, could see the value of their properties outstripping similar ones in other areas by up to a further £70,000 over the coming 10 years.