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Escaping to country will cost you a premium.

ONE of the cheapest places to buy a country retreat is in Wales.

New figures from the annual Halifax Rural Housing Review have shown that home buyers can expect to pay a premium of more than PS44,000 for a countryside retreat Across Britain, countryside homes are PS44,454 or a fifth (20%) more expensive on average than those in urban areas, according to the annual Halifax Rural Housing Review.

Property prices in rural areas are typically 7.6 times average annual earnings, compared with a ratio of 6.5 in urban areas, the report found.

The typical rural house price-to-local earnings ratio ranges from 11.4 in North Dorset, 10.8 in Chichester and 9.9 in West Oxfordshire, to 4.1 in Copeland and East Ayrshire.

Looking across the regions, the "rural premium" is particularly steep in the West Midlands, where an average rural home costs PS89,272 or 47% more than one in the region's urban areas.

The smallest gap in percentage terms was found in the East of England, where the average premium on countryside homes is PS27,765 or 9%.

The most affordable rural area in Wales according to Halifax was Carmarthenshire.

With a house price-tolocal earnings ratio of 5.2, Carmarthenshire came joint eighth in the UK for affordability alongside Highland Scotland.

Douglas Haig is MD of The Seraph Group; a portfolio of propertybased businesses. He is also Vice-Chairman and Director for Wales of the Residential Landlord Association.

He says that the figures need to be contextualised. He said: "There is a caveat in terms of how figures are put together.

"There are larger houses in rural areas compared to cities I suspect if we looked at per square foot it would be more expensive in the city centre.

"Houses in rural areas tend to be larger, have more land attached and there are fewer of them."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 30, 2017
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