House hunters must pay a £44,000 premium to live in the countryside - despite the gap narrowing over the past 10 years, a study found.
Research showed properties in rural areas still cost a fifth more than properties in towns and cities outside of London. The average house outside built-up areas was priced at £236,971, compared to £193,481 in urban centres.
The gap has narrowed as prices in urban areas - particularly larger towns - have jumped.
Over the past five years, prices in the countryside have risen 13 per cent, compared to 23 per cent in urban areas, the Halifax Rural Housing Review found. London was excluded from the findings so as not to distort the comparisons.
The house price premium in the countryside is now £7,500 lower than it was a decade ago when the data showed the gap to be £52,279.
Craig McKinlay, mortgage director of Halifax, 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.
"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."
Across Britain, the biggest urban/rural house price gap was found in the West Midlands, where it costs 50 per cent or £84,610 more to live in the countryside.
Buyers looking to live in a rural setting end up paying around seven times their annual earnings for a home, while city dwellers will pay 5.9 times their annual wage for a property typically, according to the report.
Tandridge in Surrey was named as the least affordable rural district in Britain, with the typical house prices there, at £433,932, costing 10.8 times local average earnings.
Buyers looking for value could consider Copeland in west Cumbria, which was identified as the most affordable rural district in Britain. A property there costs around £140,364, setting someone back 3.7 times the local average wage.
The research also found that first-time buyers make up 42 per cent of house purchases with a mortgage inrural areas, compared with 54 per cent in urban areas.