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Nearly £100,000 extra for a National Park home

29th July 2011 Print

Homebuyers must part with almost £100,000 more to live in some of the most idyllic locations across England and Wales, according to new research by Halifax.

House prices in National Parks in England and Wales are, on average, £95,721 (or 48%) higher than their county average. This premium has risen by over a tenth (£9,211) in the past five years.

The average price for homes located within National Parks, at £293,920, is 9.5 times national average gross annual earnings and 24% higher than the average house price for England and Wales (£236,183) as a whole.

All National Parks have higher house prices than neighbouring locations

Homes in the Lake District command the largest premium relative to the average for the surrounding area.  Houses in this picturesque part of Cumbria trade at almost three times (193%) the average house price in the county. This is marginally higher than in the Peak District where there is a premium of 191% followed by the New Forest (187%). Snowdonia has the smallest premium, but property prices are still more than double (105%) the county average.

New Forest is the most expensive National Park  

New Forest is the most expensive National Park in England and Wales with an average house price of £465,425; 58% higher than the National Parks average. In contrast, Snowdonia is the least expensive National Park with an average house price of £176,003 and is the only National Park surveyed with an average house price below £200,000. Eight of the twelve National Parks surveyed have an average house price that exceeds £250,000.

South Downs has recorded the highest rise in house prices over the past five years

Half of the National Parks surveyed have seen house price increases of at least 10% since 2006. The South Downs recorded the biggest increase over this period with a 30% rise in house prices followed by the Lake District (20%). The Broads is the only National Park that has seen a fall in house prices over the last five years (-2%). Overall, the average price in National Parks rose by 12%.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Halifax, said: "Properties that are located within National Parks typically demand a substantial premium over neighbouring areas, reflecting the lifestyle benefits often associated with residing in some of the country's most picturesque locations. Such areas often prove especially attractive for wealthy urban dwellers looking for a property in idyllic surroundings. However, high property prices have created affordability difficulties for many of those living and working in National Parks."