Festival a factor as Cheltenham tops table of rising house prices
Cheltenham is not just the home of jump racing but also price-jumping homes, according to research by the Halifax, with house prices rising more there than anywhere else in Britain in 2017.
Average prices in the Gloucestershire town are now reported at £313,150, a 13 per cent rise, which many a festival-goer may feel owes a lot to mortgage-covering rates at which locals can rent out their properties for four days in March.
Cheltenham managing director Ian Renton said: "Cheltenham is a thriving town and it's great the racecourse plays a strong role within the local community. It's fantastic to see this figure, which highlights the attractions of being based within the area."
Tom Barnwell, from local estate agent Knight Frank, had no doubt that the March festival, in particular, was a factor in the boom and said: "The increase is down to a number of things, including the racing festival, which is recognised as the pinnacle of National Hunt racing.
"We have superb literary festivals, and Cheltenham is now also a centre of education. Also, it's well located and has excellent links to other places."
|Biggest house price rises in 2017||Average price||Price increase||Percentage increase|
|Cheltenham, South West||£313,150||£36,033||13%|
|Bournemouth, South West||£273,687||£28,587||11.7%|
|Brighton, South East||£374,662||£38,289||11.4%|
|Crawley, South East||£323,660||£30,555||10.4%|
Another racecourse city, Brighton, was third on the list with an 11.4 per cent increase, while Exeter and Nottingham also featured in the top ten.
It was not all good news for racing towns, however. Perth tails the list, with average house prices there dropping by 5.3 per cent to £180,687.
Still, at least Perth will be among those of Britain's racecourses who are most immune to the threat of developers in 2018.
The Halifax, which bases the data on its own mortgage numbers, reports an average rise across Britain of 2.7 per cent and managing director Russell Galley said: "A number of towns and cities have recorded significant rises in house prices over the past year, with all of the top 20 performers recording growth of at least double the national average.
"Unlike last year, the top performers are not exclusive to London and the south-east, with the top spot now belonging to Cheltenham in the south-west, and towns in East Anglia, the East Midlands, north west, Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber also making the list."
|Biggest house price decreases in 2017||Average price||Average decrease||Percentage decrease|
|Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands||£152,340||-£6,402||-4%|
There was further good news for Cheltenham, meanwhile, with the release of New Year's Day ITV Racing viewing figures – the track having been the focus of the show – which revealed a peak of 1,027,000, against 882,000 for January 1, 2017, when the broadcaster's deal began.
The average this year was 723,000, against 676,000, and the audience share was also slightly up.
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