The Daily Telegraph has just published its list of the top 50 richest villages in the UK. English villages are apparently giving the London property market a run for its money. The Telegraph based their list on recently released figures from the Land Registry, focusing on sales for houses worth over £1million. It appears that wealthy families in search of alternatives to London property are changing the face of the traditional sleepy English village.
Lucian Cook of estate agent Savills told The Telegraph:
“Some have attracted so much wealth that they have become urban in character. Virginia Water in Surrey, for instance, where there have been 125 sales at more than £1million, and Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire with 155, are no longer really villages. We see the rise of the international village, especially in Surrey, Oxfordshire and Berkshire, close to Heathrow airport, good schools and the motorway network.”
Are the wealthy bringing London property values and urban living to traditional villages? It certainly seems that way on the surface. However, it depends on your idea of what constitutes a village. Some of the ‘villages’ on the rich list are perhaps a tad too large to be defined as such. Mr Cook’s description of them as ‘international’ villages is probably more accurate. It seems that a suitable alternative to London property must also come with the trappings of the wealthy, such as upmarket health clubs, sprawling golf courses, chi-chi boutiques and so on.
The majority of the villages that made the top 50 are located in South East or South West England. The value of East Horsley property won the Surrey village the No.1 spot on the list. According to The Telegraph, 46 houses valued at a figure over £1million were sold over the last four years. Cookham property values ensured that Windsor won second place. Alderley Edge came a close third. Chalfont St Peter property values ensured Buckinghamshire got fourth place. Prestbury in Cheshire was just behind in fifth place.
Although the majority of the villages featured in the top 50 are located in the southern half of Britain, the north did feature. Alderley Edge and Prestbury (both located in Cheshire) made the top five. The value of prime Mere property earned this Cheshire enclave 38th place on the list. Mottram St Andrew came in 43rd place. Cheshire property has been desirable for decades. It’s the only northern county to make the rich list. The Midlands were noticeably absent apart from one exception – Dorridge.
Top 20 richest villages in Britain:
- East Horsley, Surrey
- Cookham, Windsor & Maidenhead
- Alderley Edge, Cheshire
- Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire
- Prestbury, Cheshire
- Penn, Buckinghamshire
- West Clandon, Surrey
- Stoke Podges, Buckinghamshire
- Bramley, Surrey
- Wonersh, Surrey
- Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire
- Brockenhurst, Hampshire
- Windlesham, Surrey
- Bourne End, Buckinghamshire
- Cuffley, Hertfordshire
- Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
- Seal, Kent
- Forest Row, East Sussex
- Goring, Oxfordshire
- Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire