Rural house prices push young into towns

First time buyers are being pushed out of the countryside to escape an almost insurmountable difference between wages and house prices, claims a Halifax report.

While the affordability gap is daunting across the country the average property costs 6.7 times the average annual wage in rural areas, compared to 5.6 times in urban areas.

This is at its greatest in north Cornwall, where the average wage of £22,367 is just a tenth of the average £212,960 cost of property.

And even when local people are able to get onto the property ladder, they are denied the best mortgage rate offers because they have to borrow most of the property’s value.

“Housing market conditions are particularly tough for those living in rural areas,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax chief economist.

“Higher house prices combined with lower average earnings mean that property is less affordable than in urban areas.

“This is making it especially difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder whilst, at the same time, there is less provision of social housing to cater for the needs of those living in rural areas.”

The average cost of property is also 19 per cent higher in the country, fuelled by rates of second home ownership, which are five times higher in rural areas.

© Adfero Ltd

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