Comment: Stevenage and St Albans make the national property news

Living near The Standing Order in Stevenage's Old Town means paying a premium. Picture: Kevin Lines

Living near The Standing Order in Stevenage's Old Town means paying a premium. Picture: Kevin Lines - Credit: Archant

It’s been an interesting week for local property, with two parts of Herts making the national news. And for once, St Albans wasn’t topping a ‘most expensive places to live’ list.

This time a local homeowner made the Mail Online and Evening Standard after putting his three-bed house on the market for just £350,000 – on the condition that he could stay on rent-free for the rest of his life.

The 66-year-old first advertised his Royston Road home back in February, and the short-but-sweet ad quickly attracted a lot of interest.

While a lack of internal images would usually have alarm bells ringing, the bargain basement price tag overrode all that and apparently two offers are currently on the table.

What's not to like about a three-bed semi with garage and bonus non-paying tenant already in situ…?

Stevenage also had its moment in the spotlight when it was named as one of the few beneficiaries of the so-called Wetherspoon's Effect.

We all know location is key – and one thing that can apparently add value is proximity to a certain budget pub chain. Yes, the Wetherspoon's Effect is officially a thing – though unlike the Waitrose Effect, it's not always a good one.

According to the stats, living within quarter of a mile of the home of the ultimate beer and burger meal deal can place your property's price 70 per cent below the local average (if you live in Halifax).

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In fact, prices were lower than the average in 86 per cent of the 184 towns studied by Mojo Mortgages.

The people of Stevenage know the value that a cheap pint actually adds however – homes within staggering distance of the affordable pub chain are 35 per cent more expensive here than the local average.

It's all a bit chicken and egg though, really – what came first, the above (or below) average house prices or the cheaper than average boozer? Big questions of our time…