Rural homes gap widens

Rural homeowners have seen the average value of their property rise by more than £100,000 in the past decade, the latest review has found.

The annual Halifax Rural Housing Review reveals the full crisis gripping the countryside, where housing affordability has deteriorated in the past ten years. Prices this year are 6.4 times above annual earnings, up from 4.6 times in 2000.

Rural housing remains less affordable than in urban areas, where average prices are 5.4 times average annual earnings.

The data also shows significantly fewer first-time buyers in rural areas, accounting for 27 per cent of all buyers compared with 45 per cent in urban areas. Only 13 per cent of rural housing stock is social housing compared with 19 per cent in urban areas.

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