As December arrives in all its festive glory, Christmas markets pop up all over the UK. Offering seasonal tastes and gifts to shoppers in the run up to the big day, these markets provide a delightful experience that contrasts to the usual high street madness that is Christmas shopping in the UK.
Research by the Nabma ROI team has shown that Christmas markets bring significant benefits to the towns that host them - generating more than £250 million in visitor spending at the markets, as well as positively impacting spending in other stores within the
town. They can also have a positive impact on the local property market.
Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World, says: "There are many factors that make a town or city a desirable place to live and this includes the range of amenities. Once a location establishes itself as offering an enticing Christmas market each year, that becomes part of the overall attraction to the area - and the more attractive an area, the more success those investing in its property market can enjoy."
In light of the arrival of Christmas markets on the UK scene once more, we've included a round-up of the top properties near each market. We've even thrown in a couple of examples across the Channel, for property buyers looking for a French take on the festive season.
London offers a range of Christmas markets, from Winter Wonderland to the stalls of the South Bank. This year, Hampstead Village will host its first Christmas fair, transforming the entire high street into a magical Christmas experience.
Those looking to pick up property as well as presents should check out Four 5 Two from Bellis Homes: 13 superb, balconied apartments with park views in a prominent Hampstead location. Prices from £1.1 million.
Already a mecca for shoppers, Birmingham ups its game each December with the largest German market located outside of Germany or Austria. Mulled wine, craft beers and Christmas crafts are the order of the day, as visitors soak up the festive atmosphere.
Property investors can enjoy the well-located B5 Southside development from Surrenden Invest: contemporary rental apartments just five minutes' walk from New Street Station. Prices from £155,000.
With an extensive market in front of the town hall that attracts millions of visitors each year, and a large ice rink for seasonal frolics, Manchester certainly can't be accused of not getting into the Christmas spirit.
When it comes to homes near Manchester's Christmas markets, it has to be Danforth Apartments from Properties of the World , just minutes from the city centre: 113 stylish homes within the village-like environment of Fortis Quay. Prices from £124,995.
Liverpool's Christmas market always brings festive magic to the heart of the city, as twinkling fairly lights light shoppers' path around its winter huts. Food, jewellery, arts, crafts and clothes from four continents mean that shoppers looking for alternative Christmas gifts have plenty of inspiration.
Perfectly positioned for access to the city's Christmas market is The North House from Surrenden Invest: high-end apartments designed with professional urban tenants firmly in mind. Prices from £120,000.
The recently renovated and re-opened Piece Hall in Halifax will this year host a spectacular Christmas extravaganza, including a carefully hand-picked festive market packed with local Yorkshire retailers and gourmet food providers.
Property investors need look no further than the nearby Martins Mill from Property Frontiers: a selection of one and two bedroom apartments in a stunning, six-storey converted mill. Prices from £64,950.
Paris, like London, offers a wealth of festive fun for Christmas shoppers. The crafts, gifts and hot spiced wine on offer around the Sacré-Coeur at Montmatre are one of the highlights of the season.
Those looking for a place to rest their head after a long day's shopping will be delighted by this studio apartment from FrenchEntreejust moments from the Sacré-Coeur. Priced at €165,000.
Of course, for some, Christmas just isn't Christmas without a good helping of snow. The Christmas market at Courchevel offers a snowy winter wonderland for shoppers looking for beautiful decorations and seasonal delicacies.
Property buyers looking to pick up a home in Courchevel will enjoy these luxurious ski apartments available through SkiingProperty.com: 14 two-bedroom apartments with communal pool, just 10 minutes' walk from the nearest shops and slopes. Prices from £660,591.
With many Christmas markets already in full swing, it's time to wrap up warm and enjoy the best of the festive shopping season, whether you're looking for presents or properties!
Jonathan Stephens, CEO, Surrenden Invest: "Homes by Christmas markets always attract keen interest at this time of year, whether they're investment properties or those for sale to owner-occupiers. Christmas markets give these properties a little something that other homes don't have and many buyers are keen to take that into account when making their purchase."