- National Park house prices nearly 12 times annual gross average earnings
- New Forest is the most expensive National Park with an average price of £577,979
- Snowdonia is the most affordable National Park area, with £173,170 average price
Living in one of the UK’s most popular green beauty spots comes at a price, according to research from Lloyds Bank which reveals that people pay an average of £119,000 more to live in a National Park area.
Across England and Wales, house prices in the 12 National Parks surveyed1 are, on average, £118,711 – or 49% - above the average for their surrounding county.
The average house price in England and Wales’s National Parks averages £360,671. This compares with an average of £241,959 for their surrounding counties and an average of £277,260 for England and Wales as a whole.
11 of the 12 National Parks surveyed have higher house prices than the average for their county2, with four – the New Forest, the South Downs, the Peak District and the Lake District - attracting a price premium in excess of £100,000.
The average house price in a National Park of £360,671 is, on average, 11.6 times higher than local average gross annual earnings. The comparable ratio for England and Wales as a whole is eight times gross annual earnings.
New Forest commands highest premium and is least affordable
Properties in the New Forest, in the south of England, command the highest price premium - £286,442 (98%) more than properties in the surrounding area. It is also the least affordable National Park, as the average house price of £577,979 is 15 times the local gross average annual earnings.
The South Downs, with an average house price to earnings ratio of 13.6, is the second least affordable National Park, followed by the Peak District (10.8 ratio).
The Peak District also has the second highest percentage premium compared with its surrounding area (94%), followed by the Lake District (82%).
Conversely Snowdonia in Wales is the only National Park where property prices are actually below the average for the surrounding area (-3%). Snowdonia is also the most affordable National Park, with an average house price of £173,170 - 6.5 times local average annual earnings.
Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Products Director, said: "Quality of life and an attractive environment are two major factors for people eyeing their next home move, and our National Parks provide both of these in abundance. It’s therefore not surprising to learn that many homemovers are prepared to pay a premium to live in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. These highly attractive areas are also very popular with second home purchasers.
“However, as some of the homes in these areas can cost as much as 15 times the local average wage, there is a risk that some people living and working in these areas could be priced out of the market.”
House prices in National Parks up by almost £68,000 since 2006
The average house price in National Parks across England and Wales has increased by £67,727 (23%) over the past ten years, from £292,943 in 2006 to £360,671 in 2016.
The biggest percentage increases were in the South Downs (45%) and New Forest (26%).
By contrast, three National Parks have recorded a fall in house prices over the past decade: Exmoor National Park (-7%), Snowdonia (-1%) and the North York Moors (-0.3%).