UK house prices: Country property prices are much higher than those in the city

Oliver Gill
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You can spectacular views in North Dorset. But they come at a price (Source: Getty)

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.

Read more: London house prices have fallen for the first time in eight years

Britain's top five least affordable countryside areas

Local Authority District House Prices 2017 (£) Average earnings 2017 (£) Price to Earnings ratio
North Dorset 361,603 31,723 11.4x
Chichester 411,547 38,004 10.8x
West Oxfordshire 355,215 35,763 9.9x
Cotswold 368,454 37,643 9.8x
Horsham 395,022 40,732 9.7x

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.”

Read more: Mortgage approvals jump by almost eight per cent in August

Rural versus urban house prices

Average price 2017


Region Rural (£) Urban (£) Difference (£) %
North East 169,232 151,067 18,165 12%
North West 231,413 173,683 57,730 33%
Yorkshire and The Humber 216,401 164,365 52,036 32%
East Midlands 239,901 184,475 55,426 30%
West Midlands 280,776 191,504 89,272 47%
East of England 332,822 305,057 27,765 9%
South East 416,521 331,516 85,005 26%
South West 296,273 240,650 55,623 23%
Scotland 185,713 166,696 19,017 11%
Wales 183,067 162,986 20,082 12%
Great Britain excluding London 263,050 218,596 44,454 20%

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