Countryside homes are £52,917 (24%) more expensive on average than in urban areas. According to the latest research from Halifax, buyers are getting more space from a rural home with the average size being 130m compared to 105m2 in an urban home, a difference of 23%.
The average price for rural homes is £2,100 per m2compared to the £2,135 per m2 you would pay for in an urban equivalent.
Rural areas less affordable
Property in rural areas is less affordable than in urban areas. Prices are 7.8 times the average annual earningscompared to a ratio of 6.1 in cities.
All ten of the least affordable rural local authority districts are in southern England; Chichester is the least affordable with an average house price of £456,574, 12.3 times the local annual average earnings (£37,188). The second least affordable area is West Oxfordshire with an average house price of £388,838 at 10.8 times local annual earnings (£36,150).
Those wishing to escape to the country on a more manageable budget should look to the rural districts in the north of England and Scotland. Copeland is the most affordable in Britain, where the average house price is £141,349 and 3.4 times local average gross annual earnings, followed by East Ayrshire and the Shetland Islands.
Whilst a ‘rural premium’ exists across the country, the research found substantial disparities across the U.K, the greatest in the West Midlands where the average house price in rural areas (£299,555) is £98,241 (49%) higher than in the region’s urban areas (£201,314).
The smallest difference is in the East of England where the average premium on countryside homes drops to £18,857.
Urban property values have surpassed rural the past five years
Between 2013 and 2018, the average price of a countryside home rose by 28% compared with an average increase of 36% in urban areas, resulting in the urban-rural premium gap of 24% or £52,917.
Andrew Bickers, Mortgages Director at Halifax, said: “The countryside is a draw for many homeowners looking to escape the pressures of city life. As well as being able to enjoy the wide open spaces of the countryside, homeowners will also find that rural homes offer on average, around 20 percent more space per square metre than their urban counterparts.
“Housing affordability, particularly in the south of England, is still to an extent putting out of town country houses out of reach for many who would prefer country life, especially those looking to buy their first property. This is reflected in first-time buyers accounting for a smaller proportion of homebuyers in the countryside than in urban areas.”