It’s incredible, but if you head only a few miles north of Winchester, just named as Britain’s most expensive city, the average value of a property becomes more affordable by as much as £100,000.

Winchester is the UK’s most expensive city

This week, the cathedral city of Winchester has been confirmed as the priciest place to buy a home in the UK. Its average property price is now £630,432 and 14 times above the average local salary.

The cosmopolitan city has a thriving arts and cultural scene, with the Theatre Royal, Discovery Centre, Art college and university. For several years, Winchester has attracted a trendy exodus of residents from London, who like the period architecture, vibrant feel, great choice of cafes and coffee shops, restaurants and bars and the range of well-maintained amenities all within an easy stroll of the city’s centre.

Choose a perfect home location but pay less

What some home buyers do not realise is that widen your property search a tad further out and you can save tens of thousands of pounds on your purchase. All of this without compromising on excellent rail and road links, outstanding schools, unspoilt countryside, market towns with thriving communities and still have Winchester on your doorstep.

Commuters have a choice, they can pay up to £100,000 more for a property and shave four minutes off a train journey taking 61 minutes from Winchester to London Waterloo.

Alternatively, savvy buyers would be wise to consider buying a home in the picturesque and well-connected market towns of Alton (17 miles from Winchester) and Petersfield (19 miles).

Accessible and affordable Alton

The medieval town of Alton offers a fantastic choice of housing, with a local train station and a regular fast rail service into Waterloo taking just 70 minutes. The average property price is currently £515,161. Bounded by stunning countryside, Alton has a brand new leisure centre, a market square and independent shops, as well as a Waitrose and M & S foodhall.

The Market Square, Petersfield with the 18th Century statue of William III
The Market Square, Petersfield, Hampshire

Petersfield packs a punch

To the east, historic Petersfield offers even more local amenities, lying within the South Downs National Park. Average property values stand at £559,199 and the journey time by train is 65 minutes to London Waterloo.

Despite the reported trend during the pandemic for people to quit urban living and head to the coast and the country, the average cost of city homes has continued to rise. Over the last 12 months, the average cost of a UK city home has risen by 10.3 per cent to £287,440, despite the average earnings having increased by only 2.1 per cent, according to the Halifax’s data.

Hampshire’s market towns make sense for homebuyers

All the signs point to looking slightly further afield when house hunting and you will be amazed at how much further your budget will go. Not only are Hampshire’s market towns a wonderful place to call home, but they have better air quality, less urban congestions and are more affordable than some of their headline grabbing neighbours!