Rural homes in the UK £43,490 more expensive than those in urban areas

Taylor Scott International News

Property prices in the countryside in the UK are, on average, £43,490 or 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 at £168,317, the largest difference in the index. In the East of England, the premium is £16,806 or 6%, the smallest difference. House prices in rural areas are less affordable than in urban areas, the research also shows. The average property price in rural areas is seven times average annual earnings compared with a ratio of 5.9 in urban areas. The least affordable rural local area district is Tandridge in Surrey where the average house price of £433,932 is 10.8 times local annual average earnings of £40,266. All 10 of the least affordable rural districts in Britain are in southern England, including East Dorset where the average house price of £329,056 is 9.6 times local annual average earnings. This is followed by Purbeck in Dorset at 9.4, Mid-Sussex, Cotswold and North Devon all at 9.2. The least affordable rural district outside the south are Hambleton at 8.2 and Ryedale at 8.1, both in the North York Moors. Copeland in West Cumbria is the most affordable rural district with an average house price of £140,364 that is 3.7 times local average annual earnings of £38,367 while Chiltern is the most expensive with an average house price of £465,970. The next most expensive rural districts are Waverley in Surrey at £462,145, Tandridge and South Oxfordshire at £396,287. The average house price in Chiltern is four times higher than in East Ayrshire at £115,394 which is the least expensive rural district. Despite the higher price for buying in the countryside the gap with urban prices is narrowing, and property prices have risen more slowly in rural areas during the past five years, according to the research. Between 2010 and 2015, the average price of a home in the countryside rose by 13% compared with an average increase of 23% in urban areas. Between 2014 and 2015, the average price of a home in the countryside has risen by 5% compared with an average 8% increase in urban areas, excluding Greater London. Overall, the rural/urban premium has narrowed from 34% or £52,279 over the last decade. First time buyers account for 42% of all mortgage financed purchases in rural areas. This is significantly lower than in urban areas where first time buyers account for 54% of such purchases. Affordability difficulties are the key factor behind the lower level of first time buyers in rural areas. Due to the high level of property prices, getting on the rural property ladder is at its most challenging for first time… Taylor Scott International

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