Property in rural locations is becoming less affordable, with homes outpricing urban property in seven out of eight UK regions.
The research by government adviser, the Countryside Agency, was based on a mortgage index, developed by the agency, using average earnings and house prices and standard mortgage application rules to assess the affordability of homes.
According to the report, affordability problems in rural areas are worst in the South East and South West of the country.
Ewen Cameron, chairman of Countryside Agency, said residents were being priced out of their local property market. ‘We have been highlighting for some time the lack of affordable homes in rural England. The figures confirm that a significantly higher proportion of rural people (57%) would have to commit more than half their income to mortgage costs, nearly double that of urban residents (32%). This a big hurdle for new households and those on less than average wages,’ he said.
Cameron added: ‘The countryside could become the preserve of the wealthy, threatening the whole nature of rural communities and viability of services.’