Property prices boosted by ‘Waitrose effect’, claims study

Apt 1, 42 York Place, Harrogate - �650,000 with Linley & Simpson, 01423 540054.
Apt 1, 42 York Place, Harrogate - �650,000 with Linley & Simpson, 01423 540054.

Living close to a well-known super-market chain can add an average of £22,000 to the value of your home, according to new research from Lloyds Bank.

Its report also reveals that premium brands can add even more to nearby house prices. Properties close to a Waitrose store, for example, receive an average boost of £38,666 (or 10 per cent) above the wider town in which they are located (£425,428 compared with £386,763) – the highest among the national supermarkets.

177 Wetherby Road, Harrogate - �380,000 with Verity Frearson, 01423 562531.

177 Wetherby Road, Harrogate - �380,000 with Verity Frearson, 01423 562531.

Properties near some other food chains also command high house price premiums – for example, Sainsbury’s (£27,939), Marks and Spencer (£27,182), Tesco (£22,072) and Iceland (£20,034).

Mike Songer, Lloyds Bank mortgage director, said: “Our findings back-up the so-called ‘Waitrose effect’. There is definitely a correlation between the price of your home and whether it’s close to a major supermarket or not.

“Our figures show that the amount added to the value of your home can be even greater if located next to a brand which is perceived as upmarket. Of course, there are many other drivers of house prices beyond having a supermarket on your doorstep, but our research suggests that it is a strong factor.”

However, while that interpretation may hold some water where supermarkets are well-established, in instances where a supermarket is new to the area – such as the Marks and Spencer food outlet on Leeds Road in Harrogate – the cause and effect could well be inverted.

2 The Moorlands, Wetherby - �349,950 with Hunters, 01937 588228.

2 The Moorlands, Wetherby - �349,950 with Hunters, 01937 588228.

That is, upmarket supermarket chains are attracted to more expensive areas where local residents may be better able or more inclined to spend money on premium products.

The planned opening of a new M&S Food store in Ripon may offer a test case. If and when it opens, watch what happens to house prices in the vicinity of Rotary Way.

In the meantime, here are three properties close to existing supermarkets. You decide if they come with a price premium.

Apt 1, 42 York Place is a three-bedroom duplex flat a short walk from Waitrose in Harrogate. It has two reception rooms (one of which could be used as a guest suite), three bathrooms, study alcove, utility room and good-sized living kitchen.

Outside, it has a private, south-facing front garden with raised seating area, as well as two allocated parking spaces and a garden shed to the rear.

A short hop east, 177 Wetherby Road is a three-bedroom semi-detached house a short trolley-dash away from Harrogate’s large Sainsbury’s store.

It has two bath/shower-rooms, a dining kitchen, two reception rooms and a study, and has recently been refurbished with new windows, kitchen, central heating and boiler.

Outside, there’s a garage with shed, plus drive with ample off-street parking and larger-than-average garage.

Finally, 2 The Moorlands is a spacious detached family home in the centre of Wetherby. It has three bedrooms, two reception rooms and a conservatory, and outside there’s a lawned garden with patio seating areas, pergola and a side access gate to the front, as well as drive and single garage.