House prices in the National Parks of England and Wales in 2015 are, on average, £101,880 higher than their county average, according to new research from Lloyds Bank. In percentage terms, this represents a premium of 44%.
Properties in the New Forest command the largest premium relative to the average for the surrounding area in both monetary (£258,042) and percentage (94%) terms. The Peak District (89%) and the Lake District (72%) have the next highest percentage premiums to the surrounding area. Snowdonia is the only National Park where property prices are actually below the average for the surrounding area (-3%).
Of the 12 National Parks included in the research, 11 have higher house prices than the average for their county, with four attracting a price premium of more than £100,000. Seven of the 12 National Parks surveyed have an average house price that exceeds £250,000.
Andrew Mason, Mortgages Director, Lloyds Bank said: “Many homebuyers are prepared to dig that bit deeper to benefit from the lifestyle associated with living in National Parks. As areas of outstanding natural beauty, they are also prime locations for those seeking second properties. The combined impact of these factors is that house prices are typically much higher than those in surrounding areas.”
“When we take average local earnings into account, this situation can make it really tough for many of those living and working in National Parks to afford to buy their own home.”
The average house price in a National Park of £332,755 in 2015 is, on average, 10.9 times higher than local average gross annual earnings. This is similar to that in 2005 (10.8). The comparable ratio for England and Wales as a whole is 7.6 (6.4 in 2005).
The New Forest is both the most expensive and the least affordable National Park with an average house price (£531,162) that is 14.2 times local gross average annual earnings. The South Downs – at 12.5 times average earnings – is the second least affordable National Park, followed by the Peak District (10.3).
Snowdonia is both the least expensive and the most affordable National Park with an average house price of £165,840, which is 6.2 times local average annual earnings. Snowdonia is the only National Park with an average price below £200,000.
The average house priceiii in National Parks across England and Wales has increased by £57,718 (21%) over the past 10 years, from £275,037 in 2005 to £332,755 in 2015.
The biggest percentage increases were in the South Downs (44%) and the Pembrokeshire Coast (29%).
At the other end of the spectrum, the Broads Authority is the only National Park to record a fall in house prices over the past decade (-11%). The North York Moors was the next weakest performer with a 3% increase.