Metropolis receives its fair share of press releases pitching stories exploiting creative – read extraordinarily tenuous – links to the industry.

Shakespeare birthplace Stratford

Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford, topped the list

Source: Photochrom/Wikimedia

Few as tenuous, though, as the link exploited in a Knight Frank press release last week. In honour of Shakespeare Day – a global celebration of the Bard’s works – the firm produced a comparison of 2017 property prices in some of the locations that provided the settings for Shakespeare’s plays.

The number-crunching exercise fittingly saw Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, top the rankings, with average house price growth of 7.4% during 2017.

Second place was snared by the Danish town of Helsingør, the location for Hamlet, which recorded annual price growth of 6.9%, with Dover (King Lear) coming in third place, with growth of 6.8%.

But Knight Frank didn’t stop there. To also address the question of ‘to be or not to be’, it tracked – wait for it – the “average price performance of homes numbered 2b across England and Wales and compared them with homes numbered 2a, 2c, or a combination of 2 and any other letter”.

The average price of homes numbered 2b rose 9.6% in the five years to 2017; in the same period, the price of homes not numbered 2b rose 13.2% – suggesting that the answer is ‘not 2b’ after all.