Posted on 12th September 2014

The Soaring Rural Property Market

Anne Elliott, Partner and Agricultural Specialist at Latimer Hinks

As the housing market continues to improve, with talk of a housing bubble being touted by economists and property experts alike, the rural market is starting to experience similar effects to the inflated London property market.

According to research by the National Housing Federation (NHF), rural areas are amongst some of the least affordable places to live in the UK. House prices are now 11 times the average salary. A staggering 44 per cent of the 50 most unaffordable places to live in England outside of London are located in rural areas.

Together with the shortage of homes and the popularity amongst buyers who seek second homes in these desirable locations, people are still being priced out of their home towns and villages. Dubbed as POREs (Priced out of Rural England), workers in rural areas have actually seen wages rise at a slower rate than the rest of England in the last decade, by 21 per cent compared to 24 per cent in the rest of the country.

Incredibly, some rural house prices start at between 13 and 20 times the average annual income inflated by the tourist trade and second homes. These desirable properties are often left empty outside of tourist seasons, due to the increasing popularity of holiday lets.

A rural property has its perks, however, for those fortunate enough to live in the countryside. Away from the pressures of city life, they offer the ideal place to unwind, as well as providing the perfect setting for retirement. Our region is particularly fortunate in having easy access to National Parks, including the Yorkshire Dales.

The la test house price figures from Nationwide suggest that house prices are going to continue to rise. The average house price in the UK for June was £188,903 surpassing the 2007 peak with properties in the North East rising by 8.1% per cent over the course of the year, while London continued its dominance with a 25.8 percent annual change.

Whilst the unaffordability crisis in rural areas is forcing young workers and families out, the number of over 65s in these areas has risen 2.5 times faster - up by 20 per cent compared to towns and cities. Recent figures project that by 2020 around 65 per cent of over 65s (an increase of 24 per cent) in many rural areas will need help with routine domestic tasks. The National Housing Federation has warned that rural areas will struggle to support the ageing population boom unless more affordable homes are built ensuring families and working people can keep communities alive all year round.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.

For further information contact Anne on 01325 341500