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Hamlet’s setting has highest house price growth of Shakespearian locations

hamlet skull resizeTo commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Knight Frank has examined house price performance in the locations of the Bard’s most iconic plays. Kate Everett-Allen analyses the figures.

From Twelfth Night in Croatia to Midsummer Night’s Dream in Athens, Shakespeare’s 37 plays and 154 sonnets are set across more than 12 countries with large variations in their respective property markets. Analysis of the Bard’s 10 most iconic plays revealed that Helsingør in Denmark – the setting for Hamlet – leads the rankings, recording annual price growth of 14,1%.

The London borough of Tower Hamlets is the second strongest performer of the locations selected. Home to the Tower of London, the setting for Richard III, saw average price increases of 12,6% year-on-year.

Price growth in Tower Hamlets overshadows that of Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where prices increased by 3,1% in the year to February 2016. The disparity is even greater when comparing average prices. According to the latest data from the Land Registry, a property in Stratford-upon-Avon cost, on average, £275,000 in 2015 while average prices in Tower Hamlets were closer to £530,880.

Kate Everett-Allen, residential research partner at Knight Frank, comments: “It is fitting that Helsingør topped our rankings for house price growth, given that Hamlet is widely-considered Shakespeare’s most commercially successful play.

“Of the locations selected, Athens – the backdrop for A Midsummer Night’s Dream – was the weakest performer with prices slipping 4,8% year-on-year. The rate of price decline is slowing, however. Prices were falling at a rate of 13% in 2013.”

Rupert Fawcett, partner and head of Knight Frank Italy, comments: “Italy proved Shakespeare’s favourite backdrop with The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar and Othello all set in either Venice or Rome. However, despite the playwright’s fondness of the region, prices in both Italian cities have declined in the last year, down 3% and 3,6% respectively, making them an attractive proposition for international buyers.”Hamlet excerpt resize


Alison Goldberg is the former property editor of Business Day (1985) and the Financial Mail (1991-99). In 1995 she won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award. She has edited such titles as National Constructor and The Miner in Australia and has freelanced for The Star, The South African Jewish Report and The Jerusalem Post.

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