Why buy in Bath
Founded by the Romans as a thermal spa, Bath is consistently rated one of the best cities to live in the UK, as well as being a popular tourist hotspot.
Bath is the largest city in Somerset. It’s located in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles west of London and 11 miles southeast of Bristol.
At only 1 hour and 20 minutes from London on the train, it’s a popular place for Londoners to move in search of a quieter area.
The City of Bath has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. It offers a range of desirable, aspirational property including Georgian terraces and Regency townhouses.
Some of the reasons to buy in Bath are its:
beautifully preserved Georgian architecture
Roman baths and spas
proximity to the Cotswolds
links to Jane Austen
transport links to Bristol and London
compact size, making it easy to get around on foot or bike
museums including the Holbourne Museum, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery
Buying a home is a major financial decision, so it’s good to understand the housing market in any location where you are thinking about buying.
Bath is an appealing location for families moving out of London. It’s also a popular place to live for those who commute locally to Bristol or further afield to London.
There were around 84,250 residential properties in Bath as of 31 March 2020¹.
Here’s a rundown of the number of properties in Bath by property type:
detached – 13,170
semi detached – 18,730
terraced – 23,850
flat/maisonette – 20,260
bungalows – 7,070
other – 1,280
Bath house prices
The stamp duty holiday also led to higher asking prices.
The average house price in Bath and North East Somerset in July 2021 was £380,787, which is a lot more than the UK average of about £255,535.²
In Bath the average property price for a:
detached house is £637,380
semi-detached house is £394,445
terrace house is £336,176
flat is £269,280
The cost of living in Bath
Living in Bath is expensive compared to living in other cities in the southwest of England.
Here are some examples of how much things cost in Bath:³
a regular cappuccino – £2.93
a pint of beer – £4.50
a monthly travel pass – £70.30
tennis court per hour – £10.67
cinema ticket – £11.75
First time buyers in Bath
Bath’s high house prices make it difficult for first-time buyers to buy in the city. It was the second least affordable area for first-time buyers in 2021, based on the average monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of income.⁴
Only Oxford was more expensive for first-time buyers.
In July 2021, the average house price for first-time buyers in Bath was £329,521. This is higher than the £226,474 average in England.²
Buy to lets in Bath
Bath has plenty of opportunities for people wanting to buy a home to rent out to tenants.
Landlords can rent to students from the University of Bath and Bath Spa University, as well as young professionals settling in the city.
The estimated rental yield for a buy to let property in Bath in 2021 is 3.46%. This is relatively low compared to the best buy to let areas of Glasgow (7.52%), Manchester (5.19%), and Birmingham (4.92%).⁵
Bath is also popular with tourists, so there is also the opportunity to invest in holiday let accommodation in the city.
New builds in Bath
In most locations, a new build home will cost more than an older property.
In May 2021 the average cost of:²
a new build in Bath was £504,263
an older property in Bath was £372,799
Best places to live in Bath
These areas offer families, especially those relocating from London, a good choice of homes while still being close to the city centre.
For families who want a village lifestyle, Freshford, Wellow, Combe Hay, Priston, Limpley Stoke and Monkton Farleigh are not too far away from Bath.
Located in the southeast of the city and just south of Bath Spa train station, Widcombe tops Bath’s poshest neighbourhoods, with average property values of well over £1.2m.
There are plenty of Georgian townhouses of Bath limestone, but also a number of Victorian terraces and apartments.
Locals can enjoy a wide range of independent cafes, bars and restaurants.
Bath’s centre is a bustling hub of shops, restaurants, museums, bars, coffee shops and the famous Roman baths and spas.
The Royal Crescent, in particular, is one of Bath's most iconic architectural landmarks. One of the greatest examples of Georgian architecture anywhere in the UK, this impressive landmark comprises a sweeping crescent of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses arranged around a perfect lawn overlooking Royal Victoria Park.
Oldfield Park to the south of the city centre is the main student area in Bath. It’s about 3 miles from the University of Bath with regular buses to the campus.
Oldfield Park train station has regular connections into Bath and to Bristol, while Moorland Road is a vibrant row of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. The Green Park Tavern is a popular hangout in Oldfield Park famous for its burgers.
If you want to get your children into a good state school. Ofsted rates Twerton Infant School, Oldfield Park Junior School and Moorlands Infant School all as “good”.
For an Ofsted-rated “outstanding” secondary school, look to areas near Saint Gregory’s Catholic College and Three Ways School.
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¹ Council Tax Stock of Properties | Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
² HM Land Registry
⁴ Most & Least Affordable Locations for First-Time Buyers | Property Notify
⁵ UK Rental Market Statistics - 2021 Report | InventoryBase