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LONDON, ENGLAND, August 10, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Looking for a home in a national park rather than a traditional town or city? You may well need a bigger mortgage - home buyers must part with almost GBP100,000 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, GBP95,721 (or 48%) higher than their county average. This premium has risen by over a tenth (GBP9,211) in the past five years.
The average price for homes located within National Parks, at GBP293,920, is 9.5 times national average gross annual earnings and 24% higher than the average house price for England and Wales (GBP236,183) 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%). First time buyers and other property purchasers will find that 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 GBP465,425; 58% higher than the National Parks average. In contrast, Snowdonia is the least expensive National Park with an average house price of GBP176,003 and is the only National Park surveyed with an average house price below GBP200,000. Eight of the twelve National Parks surveyed have an average house price that exceeds GBP250,000.
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."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
House price data is from the Land Registry and all price figures refer to the arithmetic average of house prices and have not been standardised and covers the 12 months to April for the period between 2006 and 2011. These prices are not standardised and therefore can be affected by changes in the sample from year to year. The county house prices used in the release reflect the county or counties that the National Park covers and has been established data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the counties that lie within each National Park.
National Parks are defined as large natural areas not materially altered by human activity where extractive resource uses are not allowed and whose purpose is to protect nature and scenic areas of national and international significance for scientific, educational and recreational use. (Source: OECD)
National Parks Week takes place between 25th and 31st July. For more information please visit: http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/
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