Property Blog and News / A high price for the high (altitude) life  

A high price for the high (altitude) life  

17 February 2023


Natasha Afxentiou
Senior PR & Content Executive

From greater flood risk protection to spectacular views, there are many reasons why properties on higher ground can be sought-after, but does setting up home at higher altitude come at a greater price? We decided to explore this… 

To find out which districts across the country have the biggest margin between properties at low altitude and high altitude, we analysed the sale values of homes that were on the market in 2022 to see how prices varied within geographical districts by altitude. 

As a result of looking at all the properties available in each district and ranking them from highest to lowest in terms of altitude and splitting them into quartiles from the lowest 25% to the highest 25%, we were able to compare the average price and the altitude for each quartile.

Our research revealed that there’s a prominent price gap between homes on lower ground and properties at higher altitude, in fact, buyers pay an average premium of £505,749 for homes built at higher altitudes. 

The top 15 districts where the altitude effect is most prevalent can be seen below: 

As shown in the table above, Allerdale which is located in the Lake District, ranked as having the highest price gap when compared to properties on lower ground. In Allerdale, buyers can expect to pay 338% more to live at this altitude than buyers looking to purchase a home at lower altitude. In return for this premium, properties in this district often come with spectacular views and the area is a popular location for idyllic second holiday homes. 

Ranking fourth just behind Hartlepool and Runnymede, Copeland, which is also in the scenic Lake District, sees buyers paying 305% more when compared to properties on lower ground.

Alongside these North Western districts where mountain-top properties see buyers paying a premium, several southern districts also ranked within the top 15 locations where the altitude effect is most pronounced.

In London, buyers looking to move to the borough of Merton will find themselves paying 273% more for a property on higher ground, while in Enfield it costs 249% more. These boroughs are located in the Southwest and North of the capital respectively and while Merton is home to Wimbledon Village, the highest point in the borough, Enfield boasts many hilly areas where period properties overlook the city beyond such as the streets around Broomfield Park. Slightly further south in Elmbridge, similarly to Enfield, properties cost 249% more on higher ground than at lower altitude.

In the East of England, we found the following districts came with a premium for properties on higher ground. Tendring, Essex, is home to the popular seaside destination Clacton-on-Sea and to live atop a hill in this district it costs an impressive 255% more. Meanwhile, in southern Hertfordshire, Welwyn Hatfield sees buyers paying 231% more and on the northern outskirts of London, in the town of Broxbourne it costs 228% more to purchase a property on higher ground.

Out of the top 15 districts where the altitude effect is most pronounced across the UK, the Scottish regions of Moray, Aberdeen City, and Angus ranked twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth respectively. Moray sees properties on higher ground costing 227% more while in Aberdeen City, buyers can expect to pay 223% more for a home located higher up and in Angus, it costs 217% to purchase properties at higher altitude.

We shared these insights with The Times, who have explored why house prices are so high on higher ground. You can read the full article here (paywall)