Living in the National Parks comes at a premium

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HOME buyers face paying an extra £90,000 to live in the country’s National Parks, a new study has found.

House prices are £87,968 or 45 per cent higher on average in England and Wales’s National Parks than the typical price paid in their county in 2012, according to research done by Lloyds TSB.

The typical premium paid by buyers in the 12 National Parks included in the study is also 55 per cent higher than it was 10 years ago, when it stood at around £56,626.

In the Yorkshire Dales National Park the average house price is £283,146, £90,471 higher than the average in the rest of North Yorkshire.

The Peak District commands the biggest premium in percentage terms, with buyers facing paying more than double the prices in the local area, equating to a hike of £162,650.

The New Forest and the Lake District have the next highest premiums, while homes in Snowdonia are the most affordable relative to the local area, with buyers paying a narrower margin of six per cent or £8,763 more to live there.

Welsh National Parks tended to have smaller hikes compared with the local area.

The study comes at a time when lenders are tightening their borrowing criteria.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: “The quality of life benefits associated with living in some of the country’s most scenic destinations resonate strongly among many homebuyers. Such destinations are also popular with those looking for a second property. As a result, properties in National Parks typically trade at a significant premium to homes in neighbouring areas.

“The downside of high property prices is that homes are often difficult to afford for those living and working in such locations, a situation that has got worse over the past decade as prices have risen sharply.”

The typical home in a National Park costs more than 10 times annual earnings at £365,259, up from just over seven times local wages a decade ago.

The New Forest is the most expensive park in the study, with homes costing £474,883 on average, or more than 13 times local average annual earnings. In contrast homes in Snowdonia cost around six times wages in the area.