Living near to a Waitrose has long been considered desirable among homebuyers – and has even often been said to translate into higher house prices.
But times are changing and the so-called ‘Waitrose effect’ is no longer as prevalent as it once was, according to new research.
It found that property values are now rising at a greater rate further away from a Waitrose as people move away from towns and cities during the pandemic.
Homes close to a Waitrose have seen house prices typically rise by 16 per cent, according to new research
It is the first time that this has happened, claimed property and data insight specialist TwentyCi.
Living near the the upmarket supermarket is still considerably more expensive.
The average price of a property that was within walking distance of half-a-mile of a Waitrose was £599,000 during the first three months of this year.
By contrast, the average price for homes that were between 10 and 20 miles away from their nearest Waitrose store was £243,000.
However, the rate of growth tells a different story. Homes further away from a Waitrose have seen price growth of 23 per cent since the first three months of 2019, while those close to Waitrose have seen values rise by only 16 per cent since the same quarter.
Colin Bradshaw, of TwentyCi, said: ‘The higher growth rate for houses situated further away from a Waitrose reflects the picture we have been seeing throughout the pandemic – that suggests that while proximity to a Waitrose store is attractive, the bigger move is away from busy town centres and cities, towards quieter green spaces.’
The pandemic has seen a race for space among buyers as people turn to rural and coastal areas following several lockdowns.
Phillip Stevens, of estate agents Antony Roberts, said: ‘In reality, this trend is nothing to do with Waitrose specifically.
‘Waitrose supermarkets are generally located close to town centres which is also where train stations tend to be. Such central locations have historically been in greater demand than outlying areas.
‘However, this current trend probably reflects the fact that many more people are working from home and not commuting to offices to the same extent, so they are prioritising the greater internal and outside space offered by properties further from town centres.
‘It is likely this trend will evolve again as businesses encourage their employees to spend more time back at city-based offices, albeit this shifting lifestyle will have a long-lasting effect. It is likely that the town centre premium will not again be as significant as it used to be ‘pre-pandemic’.’
Property values are rising at a greater rate further away from a Waitrose, said property and data insight specialist TwentyCi
It follows separate research last month that suggested buyers prefer being near a Tesco supermarket.
The research by Rightmove asked 2,023 people viewing property online in August what kind of property their dream home would be, where it would be, and what they would want on their doorstep.
It resulted in identifying the nation’s dream home, which also included being by the sea and a pub, as well as having four bedrooms.
It now also includes an office, something that has become a priority for many workers during the pandemic.
The property website said that while Tesco pipped the usual desirable location indicator Waitrose to the post, preferences vary around the country.
While it found that the supermarket that most people would like to live close to is a Tesco, regional preferences revealed the South favouring Waitrose and Sainsbury’s winning in Yorkshire & the Humber. Rightmove pointed out that the results could be skewed as Tesco has more stores around the country.
A spokesman for Waitrose was approached for comment, but declined to respond.