Premium to live in England and Wales national parks tops £127k

26 October 2019

  • Homes in national parks come with £127,839 premium
  • Average house price 11 times local earnings
  • National park homes rose by 4% over the last year

Known as Britain’s breathing spaces, house prices in national parks are on average almost £128,000 more expensive than equivalent properties in surrounding counties.

The average house price in England and Wales is £294,021, compared to the average national park house price of £394,141– new data from Lloyds Bank has revealed.

The New Forest is the most expensive national park, commanding average house prices of £643,371, a premium of 97% (£317,426), followed by the UK’s oldest park, the Peak District, and most visited, the Lake District, both with premiums of 92%.

Alongside the New Forest, the newest national park, South Downs – which became an official national park in 2011– with is the least affordable national parks, where average house prices are 15 times the average local earnings.

The cost of a home in some of the nation’s most treasured sites, is more than 11 times (11.6) local average gross annual earnings (the comparable ratio for England and Wales as a whole is 7.6 times average earnings). Over the past 12 months, house prices in the majority of these areas have risen by 4% (£16,815) overall compared to 3% for England and Wales (£7,516).

In terms of house price rises, The Broads (in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk) have seen the greatest increase of 27% (to £387,609) followed by the Yorkshire Dales with a rise of 19% and the Peak District with a 16% hike.

In contrast, Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons in Wales and New Forest in England have all seen house prices fall over the past year. The largest dip was in Pembrokeshire Coast, with prices down by 5% (equivalent to - £12,905) year on year, followed by Brecon Beacons (-3% or -£6,226) and New Forest (-1% or -£6,501).

What a difference a decade makes

Over the past 10 years, the North Yorkshire Moors, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast have all become more affordable to buyers, with Snowdonia – now the most affordable national park – where average house prices are seven times average local earnings (6.9).

The average house price in national parks across England and Wales has increased by £103,039 (35%) over the same period, up from £291,102 in 2009 to £394,141 in 2019.
This increase is £9,593 higher than the average house price rise since 2009 across the whole of England and Wales.

Andrew Mason, Mortgages Director, Lloyds Bank, said: "While living in a national park comes with the attraction of some of the most picturesque parts of the country, this comes with a premium price tag to house hunters, particularly those who work locally and may have difficulty in affording a home in the same area.

“The Welsh national parks in particular have become more affordable over the past few years, offering greater opportunity for prospective buyers and, outside of Wales, the North Yorkshire Moors are the most affordable for those aspiring to live in the most scenic settings the UK has to offer.”


Notes to Editors:
This Lloyds Bank National Parks Review tracks house price movements in 12 National Parks across England and Wales. Northumberland National Park is excluded from the analysis due to an insufficient number of sales. The review is based on data from the Land Registry and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

1Northumberland National Park excluded from the analysis due to insufficient number of sales. National Parks within England and Wales.
2Where more than one county is involved, a weighted average of relevant counties is used

House price data is from the Land Registry and all price figures refer to the arithmetic average of house prices. The data covers the January-June periods in 2009 and 2019. These prices are not standardised and therefore can be affected by changes in the sample from year to year.

The county house prices used in the release reflect the county or counties that the National Park covers. Average earnings figures are from the ONS's "Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings" (ASHE) and refer to the means for full-time employees in the relevant local authority.

National parks are defined as large natural areas not materially altered by human activity where extractive resource uses are not allowed and whose purpose is to protect nature and scenic areas of national and international significance for scientific, educational and recreational use (Source: OECD)