Bath saw the third highest rise in city specific property prices in the country in the last year. The Nationwide House Price Index says that average prices in the city rose by ten per cent in the last 12 months. The average sale price over that period was £255,476 – the highest in the south west. Prices in Bath have risen by 85% in the last ten years, and went up by 2% in the last three months, according to the figures. Nationally, Nationwide said average prices fell by 1.2 % last year, although there was a 0.2% increase in the last quarter.
However, the latest H.M Land Registry figures (more accurate as based on all completed sales rather than the Nationwide’s own approved mortgages) show only modest gains in the average house price – May 2011 transactions averaged at £228,228 (May 2010 figures were £225,835). Admittedly, the Land Registry looks at the whole of Bath and North East Somerset whereas the Nationwide have concentrated on the more affluent part of the county – the city itself.
Numbers of sales in BANES, again from Land Registry data, have remained roughly similar to 2010.
No doubt the average house price will come as a shock to those wishing to live in the Bath area. However, prospective buyers need to bear in mind that, although Bath is full of inordinately expensive streets and districts, there are still plenty of areas within or just outside the city that are reasonably affordable. Searching for 2 bedroom houses within 5 miles of Bath on a popular property website brings results from approximately £120,000 upwards (we have ignored park homes or properties in need of refurbishment in order to give a more accurate picture) whilst 3 bedroom houses start from £130,000. Looking further afield to Trowbridge or Corsham (both within 10 miles) brings an even wider choice.
Among other factors, buy to let investment has fuelled price rises in Bath over the past decade. Two universities and four language colleges bring tens of thousands of students to a relatively small city. The World Heritage status and beautiful surroundings bring many more tenants of every stripe. No wonder some Bath suburbs previously occupied by families have become student strongholds and most small apartments in the city centre are long term tenanted.
For more information on Bath and properties for sale, visit our website