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How much do houses cost in Britain's 'best place to live'?

A general view of Wadhurst in East Sussex, which has been named as the overall best place to live in the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Wadhurst in East Sussex has been named as the best place to live in the UK. (PA Images via Getty Images) (Gareth Fuller - PA Images via Getty Images)

A small market town in East Sussex has been named the best place to live in the UK.

In its annual list, the Sunday Times said Wadhurst was the country's ideal location. Judges praised the town for its good schools, convenient transport links, high street shops and "stunning scenery".

With a population of fewer than 5,000 people, Wadhurst is the smallest place to win in the 11-year history of the award, and finished top of a list of 72 locations.

Why was Wadhurst named the UK's 'best place to live'?

The Sunday Times judges said Wadhurst offers “pretty much everything needed for modern life in miniature”.

They praised the Wadhurst Warriors, a group of fathers who began fundraising for the town’s primary school in 2004 and now raise money for the whole village.

A general view of Wadhurst in East Sussex, which has been named as the overall best place to live in the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Wadhurst residents say it is a "lovely" place to live. (PA Images via Getty Images) (Gareth Fuller - PA Images via Getty Images)

The town was recognised for its numerous activities available for children, the farmers’ market, clubs, classes and the community cinema at the Community Hall.

How much does property cost in Wadhurst?

According to Zoopla, the average sold price for a property in Wadhurst in the past year is £716,000.

The average cost of a detached house is £1.1m, with the average for a semi-detached house £410,000.

The average terraced home in Wadhurst costs £356,000 and the average cost of a flat is £275,000.

Rightmove's figures differ slightly for the East Sussex market town.

It states that the average cost of a detached house in the past year was £941,000, while a semi-detached property cost £521,000.

A cafe in the High Street of Wadhurst, East Sussex, which has been named as the overall best place to live in the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A cafe on the high street in Wadhurst, East Sussex. (PA Images via Getty Images) (Gareth Fuller - PA Images via Getty Images)
Wadhurst Castle in Wadhurst, East Sussex, which has been named as the overall best place to live in the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Wadhurst Castle in Wadhurst, East Sussex. (PA Images via Getty Images) (Gareth Fuller - PA Images via Getty Images)

Rightmove said the average terraced home in Wadhurst costs £462,000.

Like Zoopla, its average flat price was also £275,000.

Amanda Bussey, negotiator at Burnett’s estate agents in Wadhurst, told Yahoo News UK: "Cocooned by stunning countryside, including Bewl Water Reservoir, properties have always sold at a premium in Wadhurst.

"The mainline railway station is attractive to commuters with a fast and regular service to London combined with an array of independent shops and amenities."

According to Burnett's, a five-bedroom detached home can go on the market from between £850,000 to £1.35m.

It said a three-bedroom terraced house can cost about £425,000, while a semi-detached two-bedroom cottage can be valued at £270,000.

Burnett's said a two-bedroom flat could cost about £225,000.

A general view of Wadhurst in East Sussex, which has been named as the overall best place to live in the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Wadhurst in East Sussex topped a list of 72 places. (PA Images via Getty Images) (Gareth Fuller - PA Images via Getty Images)

Gill Weavers, residential sales manager at Lambert & Foster estate agents in Wadhurst, told Yahoo News UK: "Wadhurst is a thriving town with many generational people living and working here.

"The big shift of working patterns during and after the pandemic with people working from home has made Wadhurst a very attractive place to live as we have our own station with regular services into central London."

She said her estate agents had just sold a modern four-bedroom property for £795,000 and an Edwardian detached house for £845,000. A new set of apartments coming on to the market will range from £210,000 to £520,000, she said.

Asked about the impact of the Sunday Times list, Weavers said: "With it being even more on the map now than before I would expect demand to rise and with it house prices."

How much does it cost to rent property in Wadhurst?

Debbie DeVito, branch manager at Ashton Burkinshaw lettings agents in Wadhurst, said the town is "a lovely area to live in".

She told Yahoo News UK: "It's always been a desirable area and anything we do put on the market goes very quickly.

"Properties are thin on the ground at the moment. People aren't moving out. Rental prices have gone up an awful lot over the last year, although they have started to level out."

She said a detached house with five bedrooms can come with a rental value of up to £4,500 a month.

Renting a one-bedroom flat costs about £900 per month, while a two-bedroom flat could cost up to £1,100 and a two-bedroom house as much as £1,650.

A grocers in the High Street of Wadhurst, East Sussex, which has been named as the overall best place to live in the UK in the annual Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide. Picture date: Thursday March 23, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A grocers on Wadhurst high street in East Sussex. (PA Images via Getty Images) (Gareth Fuller - PA Images via Getty Images)

What do locals say about Wadhurst?

Wadhurst Warriors chairman Chris Poulton said: “We do believe Wadhurst is the best place to live and that is down to us all working together to make it a place where everyone can be supported.

“We don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for the community."

Paula Lee, 58, who owns the @ONE homeware shop on the high street, said: "It is a lovely place to live and it has got a good sense of community.

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“There are some really lovely shops, it is a well-rounded high street – there is a nice independent butcher, grocers and a nice community spirit.

“The countryside in this area is just outstanding. There is lots of walking and lots of sporting activities in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

A parish council spokesperson said: “This is really exciting news. Wadhurst is a lovely, lovely place to live with a great community feel.

“What makes it really special is the community, We have lots of different village clubs and a really active community."