Why properties in parks are at a real premium

A North York Moors National park sign at the foot of Sutton Bank
A North York Moors National park sign at the foot of Sutton Bank
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HOME-BUYERS must pay a typical premium of more than £125,000 to live in some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes including the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, according to a report.

With their strong popularity among people looking to snap up a second home or perhaps wanting to retire to an idyllic setting, house prices in the National Parks of England and Wales are £125,796 or 58 per cent higher on average than those in their county generally, according to the research from Lloyds Bank.

The rapidly rising cost of a house located in a national park is pushing it increasingly out of the reach of someone working in the local area as wages have remained relatively flat, the findings suggest.

The Yorkshire Dales was found to command a high price, with homes there typically costing £259,408, which is 31 per cent or £61,335 more than the surrounding areas.

And property in the North York Moors cost an average £238,852, 11 per cent or £24,216 more than neighbouring areas.

The New Forest was found to command the highest price premium, with homes there typically costing £516,479, which is double the average house price in the surrounding area.

Rising property values as the housing market generally has pulled itself into recovery mean people will have to stretch their finances even harder if they want to buy a dream home in a breathtaking National Park location.

With a typical price tag of £342,534, the average home in a national park is now 11.3 times gross average annual earnings, increasing from a multiple of 10.3 times earnings in 2004.

Lloyds said that thanks to their growing popularity, property values in national parks have typically surged by £91,265 or 36 per cent over the last 10 years – which is £10,000 more than the typical increase of £81,269 seen across England and Wales over the period.

Marc Page, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “The high quality of life associated with living in some of the country’s most beautiful areas attracts many home buyers to our national parks.

“They are also increasingly popular with those purchasing a second property. These factors mean that homes in national parks typically trade at a significant premium to properties in surrounding areas.

“The disadvantage is that the resulting high property prices have made it very difficult for many of those living and working in such locations to afford to buy their own home.”

Land Registry house price records and Office for National Statistics (ONS) earnings figures were used for Lloyds’ research.

Meanwhile, house prices are set to dip across the UK next year as the market pauses for breath following the sharp growth in values seen in 2014, according to new predictions by analysts.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) said the UK property market has reached a turning point after its strong recent recovery.

This will be compounded by some prospective buyers being “startled” by the rise in interest rates which is widely expected by forecasters in 2015 as the Bank of England base rate moves off its historic 0.5 per cent low, it predicts.

Cebr forecasts that prices will grow by around 7.8 per cent in 2014 but next year, prices are likely to see a 0.8 per cent year-on-year fall as the market adjusts itself.