Rural house prices are a fifth more expensive those in cities outside London, according to the Halifax.
The average country house price is £263,050, compared with the average urban price of £218,596.
The biggest difference is in the West Midlands, where prices are almost 50 per cent more.
“Homeowners looking to escape to the country can expect to pay an average premium of 20 per cent for a property," said Halifax mortgages director Richard Washington.
Meanwhile, the ratio of wages to house prices is also worse in the countryside. Property prices are 7.6 average earnings, compared with 6.5 times in towns and cities outside of London.
Britain's top five least affordable countryside areas
|Local Authority District||House Prices 2017 (£)||Average earnings 2017 (£)||Price to Earnings ratio|
Washington said: "Housing affordability, particularly in the south of England, is putting a country home out of reach for many people, especially those looking to buy their first property.
"Those desperate to get onto the housing ladder are more likely to eye up a property in an urban area. First-time buyers account for 41 per cent of all mortgage financed purchases in rural areas, compared to 53 per cent in urban areas. Affordability is the main reason for the lower proportion of first-time buyers in the countryside, Halifax said.
"This is reflected in first-time buyers accounting for a smaller proportion of homebuyers in the countryside relative to urban areas.”
Rural versus urban house prices
|Average price 2017||
|Region||Rural (£)||Urban (£)||Difference (£)||%|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||216,401||164,365||52,036||32%|
|East of England||332,822||305,057||27,765||9%|
|Great Britain excluding London||263,050||218,596||44,454||20%|