ALRESFORD has been named as one of the most expensive when it comes to buying a home, according to a new report.

It has been ranked third in the list of the 10 most expensive ‘market towns’, featuring alongside Henley-on-Thames, Marlborough and Petersfield.

But while the report put the average house price in Alresford as more than £500,000, it was Buckinghamshire’s Beaconsfield which topped the list, with an average price of more than £1million.

The report, by Halifax, showed those looking to live in one of England’s market towns faced paying a typical premium of more than £41,000.

House prices in market towns are £41,633 or 17% higher on average than in their surrounding county, Halifax found.

With a typical price tag of over £1 million, homes in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, with the countryside of the Chilterns on its doorstep and London also close by, are the most expensive of all the market towns looked at.

Homes in Beaconsfield also carry the biggest premium - costing 158% or £644,995 above the Buckinghamshire average of £408,980.

Buyers looking for the vibrancy of a market town with a less hefty price tag may want to consider Ferryhill in County Durham, where the average home costs £78,317 - the least expensive in the study.

Such is the appeal of market towns that, over the past five years, house prices in these areas have increased by an average of £915 per month, Halifax said.

The average house price in a market town in England is £290,775 - £54,908 higher than in 2013 when it was £235,867.

Andrew Mason, mortgages product director at Lloyds Bank, said: “With house prices rising by almost £1,000 a month in the most popular market towns over the past five years, the value put on quality of life and curbside appeal is clear. “Home buyers continue to be attracted to towns on the commuter belt into London and are prepared to pay extra to live there.

“For home buyers who are looking for market charm, but not necessarily needing to commute to London, the most affordable towns reside in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North.”

Here are the 10 most expensive market towns for home buyers, with the average house price:

1. Beaconsfield, £1,053,975

2. Henley-on-Thames, £838,206

3. Alresford, £542,614

4. Cranbrook, South East, £492,333

5. Petersfield, £483,222

6. Thame, South East, £477,664

7. Lewes, South East, £460,671

8. Hertford, South East, £449,963

9. Saffron Walden, South East, £441,709

10. Marlborough, £441,296