Monday, 02 November 2015 13:36

Rural homes are more expensive

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural homes are more expensive

RURAL homes are £43,490 more expensive than homes in urban areas, reveals the latest research.

Property prices in the countryside are on average 22% higher than in urban areas, according to the latest annual Halifax Rural Housing Review.

There is a rural premium in all regions with countryside homes typically commanding a significant price premium over urban areas, although there are large variations across the country.

In rural areas of West Midlands the average house price of £252,927 is £84,610 (or 50%) higher than in the region's urban areas (£168,317) – the largest difference.

In the East of England, the premium is £16,806 (or 6%) – the smallest difference.

Halifax mortgage director Craig McKinlay said: "Many homeowners aspire to live in the countryside, attracted by the prospect of a better quality of life, open space and a cleaner environment.

"However, realisation of this dream comes at a cost with average property values typically over a fifth higher than in urban areas."

House prices in rural areas are also less affordable than in urban areas – a situation that is often exacerbated for rural workers because rural wages are often lower.

The average property price in rural areas is 7.0 times average annual earnings compared with a ratio of 5.9 in urban areas, according to the Halifax review.

Mr McKinlay said: "A side-effect of rising property values is that housing affordability has become an increasing concern in many rural areas.

"This is particularly true in the south where those on average incomes find it very difficult to enter the market."

The least affordable rural local area district (LAD) in Great Britain is Tandridge in Surrey where the average house price of £433,932 is 10.8 times local annual average earnings of £40,266.

All ten of the least affordable rural LADs in Britain are in southern England.

They include East Dorset where the average house price of £329,056 is 9.6 times local annual average earnings; followed by Purbeck in Dorset (9.4).

The least affordable rural LADs outside the south are Hambleton (8.2) and Ryedale (8.1) – both are in the North York Moors.

Copeland in West Cumbria is the most affordable rural LAD in Great Britain with an average house price of £140,364 that is 3.7 times local average annual earnings of £38,367.

Chiltern is the most expensive rural area in Britain with an average house price of £465,970.

The next most expensive rural LADs are Waverley in Surrey (£462,145), Tandridge and South Oxfordshire (£396,287).

The average house price in Chiltern is four times higher than in East Ayrshire (£115,394) - the least expensive rural LAD.

Social housing provision is typically lower in rural areas of Britain, with 12% of the housing stock accounted for by social housing compared with 19% in urban areas.

There are 20 areas where social housing accounts for less than 10% of total housing stock, including the Wyre, Ribble Valley (both in Lancashire), Wealden in East Sussex and East Dorset.

East Ayrshire has the highest level of social housing in rural Britain, followed by Ceredigion, Forest Heath in West Suffolk and Copeland.

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