Lake District is UK’s Most Affordable Rural Area
New research released today has named an area in West Cumbria as the UK’s most affordable for buying rural property, whilst the Cotswold’s averages the most expensive house prices.
The survey showed that in the district of Copeland in West Cumbria house prices are around 2.7 times average earnings. The area includes Sellafield and the coastal towns of Gosforth and Whitehaven as well as a part of the Lake District.
The new research which was carried out by Halifax, found that the picture is very different in the Cotswolds, with house prices coming in at more than 9 times average income in the local area at around £320,000.
Throughout the UK purchasing a property costs an average of 6 times gross annual earnings, with lower priced homes available in urban areas (excluding London). According to the Halifax research there are only four UK areas where rural properties cost less than four times the average annual earnings. These include Copeland, Pendle in East Lancashire, the Scottish regions of East Ayrshire and Stirling and the Western Isles.
Only one quarter of those buying rural properties in the Cotswolds were first time buyers, the smallest percentage of new buyers in the UK. 58% of purchasers in the Copeland area were first time buyers, making it the UK’s most popular rural area to get a foot on the property ladder.
The research states the ten most affordable rural local authority districts in the UK as follows:
- East Ayrshire
- Western Isles
- North Lincolnshire
- Shetland Islands
- West Lindsey
The survey found the ten most expensive rural areas to buy in as follows:
- North Dorset
- East Devon
- Vale of White Horse
- North Devon
- East Dorset
- East Hampshire
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis commented that in the UK, rural property comes with ‘a significant premium’ and went on to say that living in the countryside remains ‘a major aspiration’ for many UK buyers, but, attested Ellis, ‘high prices place rural properties out of reach for many’.
The survey also found that the gap in price between rural and urban properties is being narrowed by an influx of first time buyers. It showed that over the past four years the average price of a city home has been rising at almost five times the rate of rural properties, with new buyers accounting for 40% of all properties purchased in out of town areas with the help of a mortgage, whilst those purchasing in the countryside pay on average £24,000 more than those purchasing in urban areas.
The government have recently introduced a string of initiatives designed to make it easier for people to purchase their own homes, prompting lenders to embark on a mortgage price war. This month a new initiative was brought in which will allow buyers to purchase a home with as little as a 5% deposit, which could help make it easier for first time buyers and lower income families to secure property in sought after and desirable rural areas.
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