Diverse high streets add to home values

High streets populated with thriving independent businesses have added an average of £40,000 to nearby house prices over the last decade, according to a report.

The rise in property values was 17 per cent higher than the growth in comparable areas with proportionally fewer independent traders, the American Express study said.

It suggested that homeowners living close to a flourishing local high street could see the value of their property outperform similar homes elsewhere by as much as £70,000 over the next 10 years.

It found consumers living in areas with a higher proportion of small, independent businesses spent an average 21 per cent of their annual retail budget shopping locally, compared with those living near fewer independent traders, who spent six per cent locally.

The study identified five areas it described as good examples of areas with thriving independent retailers which looked set to prosper over the next five years, including Yarm, near Stockton-on-Tees.

American Express UK managing director Colin Walsh said: “December 7 is Small Business Saturday and we’re encouraging as many people as possible to go out and celebrate the UK’s small businesses and the value they bring to their broader communities.”

Television personality and property expert Kirstie Allsopp said: “By shopping locally and supporting local traders you are investing in your home as well as your high street.”