Yorkshire home buyers face steep "rural premium" for countryside retreat

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Home buyers seeking a countryside retreat in Yorkshire face a "rural premium" of £52,000, a report has found, paying 30 per cent more than those in urban areas.

Across Britain, the annual Halifax Rural Housing Review reveals, property prices in rural areas are typically £44,000 more than those in towns and cities, a rise of 20 per cent.

There were wide disparities across the country, with Yorkshire ranking third highest in a list of the regions with the steepest per centage hikes in housing costs between town and countryside homes

The "rural premium" is particularly steep in the West Midlands, the report found, where an average rural home costs £89,272, or 47 per cent more.

Richard Washington, mortgages director at Halifax, said: "Home owners looking to escape to the country can expect to pay an average premium of 20 per cent for a property.

"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."

Property prices in rural areas are typically 7.6 times average annual earnings, compared with a ratio of 6.5 in urban areas, the report found.

The typical rural house price-to-local earnings ratio ranges from 11.4 in North Dorset, 10.8 in Chichester and 9.9 in West Oxfordshire, to 4.1 in Copeland and East Ayrshire.

The smallest gap in percentage terms was found in the East of England, where the average premium on countryside homes is £27,765 or nine per cent.

Although the rural premium across Britain will typically set buyers back tens of thousands of pounds, it has shrunk in recent years.

This is because urban property values have increased at a faster rate on average over the last five years, by 43 per cent - compared with 31 per cent for rural homes.

In 2012, the rural premium was higher - at £47,769 or 31 per cent on average.