HOME BUYERS pay a premium of nearly £44,000 typically to live in the countryside, according to a report.
And Yorkshire has one of the highest premiums in the difference between rural and urban properties.
At £236,971 on average nationally, a home in a rural area costs £43,490 or more than a fifth (22 per cent) more than a property in a town or a city, according to the Halifax Rural Housing Review published today.
It said the gap is making it difficult for first-time buyers on average incomes in southern England in particular to get a foothold on the property ladder. Across Britain, the biggest urban/rural house price gap was found in the West Midlands, where it costs 50 per cent or £84,610 more to live in the countryside.
In Yorkshire the average house price in rural areas is said to be £201,611. This is £53,049, or 36 per cent higher than the average price in the region’s towns and cities.
Buyers looking to live in a rural setting end up paying around seven times their annual earnings for a home, while city dwellers will pay 5.9 times their annual wage for a property typically, according to the report, which excluded London from the findings.
Tandridge in Surrey was named as the least affordable rural district in Britain, with the typical house prices there, at £433,932, costing 10.8 times local average earnings.
Buyers looking for value may want to consider Copeland in west Cumbria, which was identified as the most affordable rural district in Britain.
A property there costs around £140,364, setting someone back 3.7 times the local average wage. The research also found that first-time buyers make up 42 per cent of house purchases with a mortgage in rural areas, compared with 54 per cent in urban areas.
There were huge variations across the country, with first-time buyers making up nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of purchases in Pendle in Lancashire compared with just 20 per cent of purchases in Purbeck in the South West.
Craig McKinlay, mortgage director at Halifax, said: “Many home owners aspire to live in the countryside, attracted by the prospect of a better quality of life, open space and a cleaner environment.
However, realisation of this dream comes at a cost with average property values typically over a fifth higher than in urban areas.”