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Buyers paying a premium for the country life

Buyers paying a premium for the country life

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 04/10/2011
First Published: 04/10/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

People looking to live the country life are paying a premium to do so when compared with homes in urban areas.

In fact, property prices in the countryside are, on average, £27,000 (16%) more than in more built up areas of the UK , research by Halifax has found.

Average property prices in rural areas have increased more than in urban areas in monetary terms over the past 10 years.

Rural property prices rose by an average of £69,170 – equivalent to £576 per month – from £127,146 in 2001 to £196,316 in 2011.

In comparison, urban areas saw an average increase of £62,223 - or £519 per month – from £107,130 to £169,353.

The strength in rural property prices over the past decade has resulted in housing becoming less affordable for buyers on average incomes.

This is particularly true in the South West which has eight of the ten least affordable rural areas in the country.

First time buyers looking to put down roots in the country have also seen the amount they have to pay for a leafy abode jump by 90%, compared to 80% in urban areas.

Figures show a third of all property transactions in rural areas are accounted for by first-time buyers compared with a half in urban areas.

"Living in the countryside is an aspiration for many homeowners, attracted by the prospect of a better quality of life, open space and a cleaner environment," said Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Halifax.

"The side effect of rising property values is that housing affordability has become an increasing concern in many rural areas, particularly in the south where in all areas those on average incomes will find it difficult to enter the market.

"This, in turn, is having an adverse impact on the numbers of first-time buyers in these areas."

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