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Rural property price growth closes in on urban rises

13th March 2015

  • City properties only narrowly beat countryside homes in house price growth
  • Urban values up 5.7% compared to 5.1% annual rise in rural areas
  • But buyers still pay a £50,000 premium for their slice of English countryside

Property price growth in the English countryside is almost neck and neck with price rises in cities, according to the latest research from Zoopla.

Home values in towns and cities across the UK have increased by 5.7% over the last year, but rural England is hot on its heels with 5.1% annual property price growth in countryside areas over the same period. The average value of a rural home in England now stands at £264,338, £51,737 (24%) higher than the typical urban property outside of London*.

Rural homes in the East of England have seen the biggest uplift in value over the past year, with prices up 6.5% (£17,098). This is closely followed by country boltholes in the South East, which have climbed in value by 6% (£22,157) in the last twelve months, meaning that homebuyers in the region can expect to pay £66,100 more to live in a rural part of the South East, as opposed to a bustling town or city. The premium buyers pay to live in a rural location is highest in the West Midlands, with countryside properties costing £73,982 more than homes in a town or city.

Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire is the most expensive rural haven in England, with average homes currently worth £817,376, up from £773,726 a year ago.

City pads in the East of England and South East experienced the strongest annual growth of 7.5% and 6.7% respectively, outpacing rises in London. But the most expensive urban location across the country is Kensington and Chelsea, with the typical pied-a-terre in W8 now valued at £2,654,512.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla commented: “Urban areas had a head start in the housing recovery with demand propped up predominantly by employment opportunities. This drove price growth in these economic hubs and left countryside markets by the wayside.

“Over the past year house price growth has spread and rural retreats which are commutable to the amenities and jobs of urban centres have become highly sought after. But they come with a significant premium to have the best of both worlds, with the extra outdoor space and seclusion that rural living gives you. Those looking for the good life in the country might want to escape the rat race sooner rather than later.”

Urban v rural property value by region

      Region Avg. Urban Property Value (Mar 2015)   1 yr change (%) Avg. Rural Property Value (Mar 2015)   1 yr change (%)   Rural Premium
West Midlands £170,137 4.3% £244,118 4.2% 43.5%
North West England £154,479 3.4% £214,522 3.0% 38.9%
North East England £150,631 3.6% £200,550 4.2% 33.1%
South East England £325,306 6.7% £391,398 6.0% 20.3%
East Midlands £170,354 3.6% £196,907 3.8% 15.6%
Yorkshire & The Humber £145,831 2.8% £165,454 3.0% 13.5%
South West England £239,192 5.0% £269,472 5.0% 12.7%
East of England £282,679 7.5% £280,104 6.5% -0.9%
London £561,589 6.5% n/a n/a n/a

Source: Zoopla, March 2015

Top ten rural hotspots by annual growth

  Outcode   Location Avg. Property Value (Mar 2015) Avg. Property Value (Mar 2014) 1 yr change (%)
DA4 Dartford, Kent £346,418 £315,031 10.0%
CM11 Billericay, Essex £437,540 £399,707 9.5%
HP22 Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire £478,852 £438,581 9.2%
CM16 Epping, Essex £487,405 £446,700 9.1%
LU6 Dunstable, Bedfordshire £283,154 £260,204 8.8%
DT2 Dorchester, Dorset £344,826 £316,985 8.8%
CM21 Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire £363,132 £333,900 8.8%
SG4 Hitchin, Hertfordshire £391,342 £359,851 8.8%
ME6 Snodland, Kent £204,365 £188,136 8.6%
ME2 Rochester, Kent £217,058 £199,881 8.6%

Source: Zoopla, March 2015

Top ten urban hotspots by annual growth

  Outcode   Location Avg. Property Value (Mar 2015) Avg. Property Value (Mar 2014) 1 yr change (%)
BR3 Beckenham £482,970 £427,979 12.8%
BR1 Bromley £427,527 £379,092 12.8%
SM4 Morden £359,434 £320,005 12.3%
BR6 Orpington £496,699 £442,346 12.3%
IG2 Ilford £322,971 £288,906 11.8%
SM2 Sutton £462,047 £414,042 11.6%
BR7 Chislehurst £665,635 £597,075 11.5%
DA5 Bexley £386,459 £347,103 11.3%
AL8 Welwyn Garden City £468,030 £421,625 11.0%
TW2 Twickenham £532,075 £480,370 10.8%

Source: Zoopla, March 2015

*Urban/Rural as defined by Office of National Statistics

- Ends -

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