It may not sound like an immediately familiar location, but Corsham is a town you will almost certainly recognise thanks to its starring role in a series of high profile TV costume dramas.
From Poldark, where it’s standing in for the busy 18th-century port of Truro, to Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Lark Rise to Candleford, and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, this gorgeous country market town in Wiltshire has become the go-to option for TV location scouts looking for authentic period charm.
And now Corsham, set on the south-eastern edge of the Cotswolds, has another claim to fame: it was Britain’s new buyer demand hotspot in January.
As buyers continue to seek open space and room to work from home, our latest research shows that Corsham has seen a massive 124% uptick in levels of buyer demand compared to this time a year ago. Average asking prices have jumped 6% in the past 12 months.
The countryside charm of Corsham
David Liston, a valuer at Strakers estate agent in Corsham, said the town is popular with buyers leaving London, and the pandemic has intensified their interest. “It has always been a hotspot, and that has become even more so during the pandemic,” he said.
Londoners are the main buyers, he adds, but there are also home-movers attracted to the area from the Midlands, and moving back from Cornwall and Devon.
Liston suspects that Corsham’s appeal is partly its location, within reasonable distance of London, and it’s also close to major centres of employment like Bristol and Swindon. The town centre is intensely pretty, and is full of independent shops and restaurants, good schools.
Access to the Cotswolds only adds to the appeal, and it is also a good option for buyers priced out of nearby Bath.
“It is a nice little town, and there is so much going on here,” said Liston. “It is not too big and not too small; you have got everything you need.”
What sort of homes can you find in Corsham?
Many buyers dream of a beautiful Georgian stone house within a short walk of the high street. When they do come onto the market, they sell for between £600,000 and £800,000 for a typical property, which is around twice Corsham’s average asking price of £329,494.
On the outskirts of the town, however, you could pick up a modern detached house for £450,000 to £650,000.
Another property type which is rare in Corsham is flats – although there are some small purpose-built blocks dotted around. Expect to pay around £150,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
Scotland is also in the spotlight
Our table of the top 10 new buyer demand hotspots is based on the number of enquiries sent to estate agents across the country in January. Taking second and third place are two locations in Scotland: coastal Prestwick, in Ayrshire (up 116%), and Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, up 114%.
Chelsea tops the London table
In London, the most in-demand neighbourhood was Chelsea. Enquiries from buyers have increased by 88% in the past year, showing that buyers are returning to city centre life.
The top 10 buyer demand hotspots outside of London
|Location||Increase in demand||Average asking price||Annual change|
|1. Corsham, Wiltshire||124%||£329,494||+6.3%|
|2. Prestwick, Ayrshire||116%||£172,166||+1.3%|
|3. Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire||114%||£138,836||+1.7%|
|4. Hope Valley, Derbyshire||106%||£502,302||+9.1%|
|5. Todmorden, West Yorkshire||101%||£214,137||+8.5%|
|6. Cradley Heath, West Midlands||101%||£182,145||+9.8%|
|7. Leicester City Centre||99%||£129,841||+4.4%|
|8. Bolsover, Derbyshire||96%||£174,769||+13.9%|
|9. Bolsover, Derbyshire||94%||£127,787||+11.8%|
|10. Winsford, Cheshire||91%||£180,724||+11.9%|