Buyers 'struggling to afford rural property'

Posted: 15 Sep 2008 10:52:13 GMT

            Property News - Buyers 'struggling to afford rural property'

The average price of rural residential property in Britain now stands at £235,324, 15 per cent higher than the average urban house price of £204,290, a new housing review from Halifax has revealed.

Looking at property in 123 local authorities across the UK, the lender identified Chiltern in Buckinghamshire as the most expensive area, with average house prices of £448,635.

It noted that all ten of the most expensive local authorities were situated in the south of England, the top three - Chiltern, Waverley and Tandridge - also possessing the highest quality of live among rural areas.

Suren Thiru, economist at Halifax, explained: "Housing in rural areas is less affordable than in urban areas due to a combination of higher average prices and lower average earnings.

"The difficulties for home buyers in rural locations are particularly acute among first-time buyers and are exacerbated by relatively low levels of social housing provision."

Last month, several of Britain's largest mortgage providers, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Abbey and Britannia Building Society, announced cuts on a raft of fixed-rate products.

According to, the average cost of a UK mortgage now stands at the same level as in August 2007, before the effects of the credit crunch started to be felt.

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