What have the Romans ever done for us?

Ryan Bembridge

July 25, 2016

House prices in former Roman towns are 80% higher than the UK average, Jackson-Stops & Staff research has revealed.

In the Roman period 2,000 years ago the three biggest towns were London (known as Londinium), St. Albans (known as Veralamiumn) and Colchester (Camulodunum).

Roman prices average at £343,352 after increasing by 284.6% in the past 20 years.

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New towns (built in the last 70 years) meanwhile have an average price of £219,455 after rising by 257.44% in 20 years.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, said: “Roman towns are as popular today as they were over 2,000 years ago and our research demonstrates that their popularity has directly affected property values.

“Well designed and future proofed, they are imbued with history and evidence of the Roman occupation is still very much visible today.

“Winchester still retains its historic City Walls, Colchester has the Balkerne Gate dated AD43, Welwyn and Bath the Roman baths and York a temple and a part of the great city wall. Indeed these are still key attractions to each of the towns today.”

He added: “Roman towns were generally built in prime strategic locations guarding rivers or on elevated territory and so enjoy fantastic positions not always enjoyed by the new towns.

“They have antiquity and a layering of history which make them magnets for today’s home buyers.

“The Romans were incredibly insightful and forward thinking, building towns that were often designed in the form of a grid and accessed by two main Roman roads.

“Each of the towns also benefitted from a central core with shops and businesses, which today have evolved into flourishing high streets.”

In former Roman towns in the past 20 years London leads the way (354.58%) on house price growth, followed by St. Albans (323.25%), Chelmsford, known as Caesaromagus, (311.40%), Cambridge, once known as Duroliponte, (302.46%) and Bath, formerly known as Aquae Sulis (301.09%).

With new towns the highest performers are Basildon (314.40%), Hemel Hempstead (309.56%), Welwyn (303.82%), Crawley (303.62%) and Stevenage (301.92%).

Leeming added: “Some of the New Towns have also done well such as Basildon, Welwyn, Crawley, Stevenage and Milton Keynes and may provide rather better value for home buyers because they are generally cheaper that the majority of Roman towns.”

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