War of The Wisteria.

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Country living is becoming more and more appealing to people as they escape city life and buy their rural dream home.  This is the good life for the city-dwellers but for the local people they often find themselves priced out of the market.  Since Roman times, when senators built villas in the country to get away from the city stench, the rural dream has been the ideal for many.  This has not changed as house prices in places such as the Cotswolds are at a premium.

A Halifax survey suggests that if you want a country home you have to pay an extra £102,722 for the privilege as prices have increased a huge 96% since 2000.  Even though all house prices have increased since 2000, house prices in the country have exceeded expectations.  To put things into perspective a typical home in the country costs 6.4 times average earnings compared to city areas where homes cost 5.4times average earnings.

So the habitants of rural properties are increasingly from the city but settle in the countryside because it is often an easy commute into the city whilst the rural area has the benefit of the good school and surroundings.  High speed rail links will increase city dwellers moving out to the countryside and with the increase in broadband connections out in the country, people will not have to commute everyday but can work from home.  There are normally two different groups of people settling into rural life, firstly couple with young families wanting a better childhood for their offspring and secondly those with second homes.  Many people buy a second home in the country as an investment, they would rather put their money into property than low interest rate accounts.  The positives of this are the amenities and infrastructure that the investment has bought but the negatives are that first time rural buyers are priced out of the market.  People living in rural areas earn less than those living in the city even though a report shows that those living in rural areas need more money to live on annually because of transport and fuel costs. 

Many people living in rural areas are hoping that the Localism Bill will enable young rural people to finally get themselves on the property ladder.  Some believe that their villages are made up of too many big homes and not enough small ones and the rural economy is being driven by cash rich purchasers with gaps between top end and bottom end properties widening. 

Rural Property Hotspots:-

·North Norfolk.  The area is not fantastic in regards to rail links but the villages are pretty here and 63% of the buyers here do not need a mortgage.

·Cotswolds.  Always a favourite rural hotspot, Kate Moss has bought a house here in the last few years.  Supply never meets demand here and house sales are swift at all times, even in recession.

·Yorkshire’s Golden Triangle.  Ilkley, Ripon and York, the golden triangle, attract wealthy buyers although it is not on the same level as the Cotswolds. 

·Northumberland.  Alnwick is pretty and the area is quite affordable both coastal and inland.  Prices are reasonable here because southerners have not yet discovered its delights.

·Bognor.  A new tunnel might improve Bognor’s reputation with potential home buyers as it has lots of unspoilt beaches.

·North Leicestershire.  90 minutes from London by train and amazing schools in fantastic little villages.  Mostly undiscovered by southerners and a lot cheaper than the south too.


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