14:38 PM, 26th November 2010, About 11 years ago
Property investors have seen prices for homes in rural areas outpace those in towns and cities for the past decade and average house prices are now 20% higher than those in towns.
The rural house price rise was also greater than the increase in property prices in urban areas (91%).
Average rural house prices are 20% higher than the average urban house prices, compared to 17% higher in 2000.
The most expensive rural homes are in South Oxfordshire that has an average house price of 85% above the rural average of £209,972 at £388,326.
With an average house price of £107,515, East Ayrshire is the cheapest.
Craven, Yorkshire saw the largest price rise (180%), followed by Copeland in the North West (175%) and Powys and Pembrokeshire in Wales (both 164%).
East Devon is the least affordable rural district, with an average house price (£252,813) 9.1 times above local average earnings, followed by Uttlesford in the East of England at 8.9 times average earnings.
Besides having the cheapest average house price, East Ayrshire is also the most affordable rural district with an average house price of 3.9 times local average annual earnings.
“With the lifestyle benefits associated with living in the countryside still resonating with homebuyers, rural properties continue to trade at a significant premium to homes in urban areas,” said economist Suren Thiru, compiler of the Halifax Rural Housing Review.
“However, as a consequence of rising property prices and generally lower average earnings, the housing market in rural areas has become more challenging over the past decade, particularly for those looking to get on the property ladder.”
Rural housing has grown more expensive over the past ten years. Prices in 2010 are an average 6.4 times more than average gross annual earnings, up 4.6 times on the average earnings in 2000, but lower than the 8.2 multiple in 2007.
In comparison, urban area average prices are 5.4 times average annual earnings.
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