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Britain’s cheapest – and most expensive – countryside locations to buy a home



THE most expensive and cheapest places to buy a country retreat in Britain have been revealed, as it emerges rural homes can be tens of thousands of pounds more expensive than city equivalents.

homes in the Lake District


The Lake District is the most affordable part of Britain's countryside

A so-called 'rural premium' is attached to properties across the UK, with country homes typically £43,490 more expensive than urban equivalents, according to analysis by lender Halifax.

The average property price in rural areas across Britain is an average seven times the average annual earnings, compared with a ratio of 5.9 in urban areas.

The most expensive areas for a home out in the sticks is Chiltern, Bucks, where the average house price sits at a hefty £462,145.

The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is within commuting distance to London, allowing residents to easily balance time in the country with a working city life.
Waverley in Surrey and South Oxfordshire are the second and third most expensive places for homeowners looking for a country escape, with house prices at an average £462,145 and £396,287 respectively.

But homebuyers can pick up an idyllic pad at less than quarter of this price if they head to East Ayrshire, where countryside prices are the cheapest at £115,394.

The most affordable area, however, is Copeland in West Cumbria. Average values in the area are £140,364, which is 3.7 times local average earnings of £38,367.


lake district views


Escape to the country: Parts of the Chilterns are the most expensive areas

On the other hand, the least affordable rural local area district in is Tandridge in Surrey where the average house price of £433,932 is 10.8 times typical local earnings of £40,266.

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 Halifax.

Between 2010 and 2015, the average price of a home in the countryside
rose by 13 per cent compared with an average increase of 23 per cent in urban areas.

homes in chltern


Chiltern is an Area of Outstanding Beauty

Craig McKinlay, mortgage director, 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."

10 Most Affordable Rural Local Authority Districts

1. Copeland, North West, £140,364
2. East Ayrshire, Scotland, £115,394
3. North Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and The Humber, £138,866
4. Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, £128,245
5. Allerdale, North West, £145,679
6. Pendle, North West, £131,542
7. Bassetlaw, East Midlands, £141,092
8. Carmarthenshire, Wales, £150,185
9. Staffordshire Moorlands, West Midlands, £157,549
10. Argyll and Bute, Scotland, £153,508

Based on house prices to earnings ratios

10 Least Affordable Rural Local Authority Districts 

1. Tandridge, South East, £433,932
2. East Dorset, South West, £329,056
3. Purbeck, South West, £265,268
4. Mid Sussex, South East, £339,803
5. Cotswold, South West, £318,797
6. North Devon, South West, £252,339
7. North Dorset, South West, £262,467
8. East Devon, South West, £270,993
9. New Forest, South East, £296,576
10. Vale of White
Horse, South East, £327,191

Based on house prices to earnings ratios

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