Although the average price of buying a home in the UK may have fallen, with figures published by the Land Registry in September recording an annual drop of 2.6 per cent, there are some towns and cities in the country that have bucked the trend. In the case of London, the factors behind the steady rise of property values may be obvious - supply outweighing demand, a lack of new development and all the advantages that living in a world-class city offers. However, other parts of the nation have seen real estate prices climb for less-conventional reasons.
The Daily Mail recently highlighted significant property price increases in towns associated with top-class chefs and other food-focused events. Among the examples singled out by the newspaper were Bray - home to Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck - Malmesbury and Padstow. Citing figures from Knight Frank, the publication revealed that since 2004, the value of homes in Bray has outperformed the surrounding region by 16 per cent - which coincides with The Fat Duck receiving its third Michelin star.
Meanwhile, Malmesbury has seen its property market improve since Whatley Manor was awarded its first Michelin star back in 2005. Finally, Padstow is well-known as the home of TV chef Rick Stein, with house prices here climbing by 105 per cent since 2001 - 31 per cent higher than in the surrounding area. Managing director of FirstRungNow Helen Adams agreed that such factors "can certainly give an area a boost in property prices".
She noted that cities in particular can benefit from a strong food industry, commenting that the districts where a cafe culture develops are "quite hip and trendy", which can help increase demand for homes in these areas. She added that offering a "thriving social life" can "also keep prices up".
Recent research from Lloyds TSB revealed that, since 2001, the average value of a property in the UK's market towns has risen by 103 per cent. Among the locations to experience the biggest rises are Ferryhill in Durham (155 per cent) and Alford in Lincolnshire (150 per cent), both of which host regular markets featuring food stalls selling local produce and other delicacies.