Rural south Bucks houses are UK's 'least affordable'

House prices in Beaconsfield are amongst the most expensive in the country

House prices in Beaconsfield are amongst the most expensive in the country

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

HOUSE prices in rural areas of south Bucks are the least affordable in the country, new figures show.

Data from the National Housing Federation shows the average cost of a house in the district is more than 20 times the average wage.

The study showed the the average house price in south Bucks is £563,032 against an average wage earned in the district of £27,903 - giving what the NHF called an 'affordability ratio' of 20.2.

South Bucks is the only rural area in the country with a ratio above 20 with the second least affordable area, the Cotswolds, having an affordability ratio of 19.1.

The NHF report said: "We have a rural housing crisis. High house prices, low wages, seasonal rental and jobs markets, high levels of second home ownership, and an ageing population are all piling pressure on to rural communities and local services.

"Families and young people are still being priced out of our villages and market towns.

"The ageing rural population, continued high levels of second home ownership, rising energy prices, welfare reform, and the loss of homes through Right to Buy, are all hampering progress in bringing about changes that are needed to address this crisis."

A rural area is defined as a local authority area where at least half the population is in a rural settlement or market town.

Comments (1)

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5:02pm Wed 20 Aug 14

kerlmann says...

This simply reflects market economics - we're fortunate enough to live in a lovely area with picturesque villages and relatively good road and rail links into Central London, Oxford, Reading and Birmingham. It's not surprising house prices are high - plenty of people want to live here yet the supply is limited. Assuming greenbelt laws remain tight enough to restrict widespread rural expansion, then prices in the long term will continue to rise disproportionately - if you're already a home owner in this area, happy days.

It's overkill to call this a 'crisis' - how does all the stuff NHF mention pile 'pressure on to rural communities and local services' exactly? It shouldn't make much difference who exactly live in rural areas. The number of houses and therefore volume of rural residents will remain broadly stable.

The average price of £563k is inflated by the mega-properties in South Bucks - Seer Green, Chalfonts, Hazlemere, Penn, Tylers Green, Bourne End, Marlow etc. all contain good numbers of massive houses with price tags to match. It's not like living in Kensington & Chelsea where EVERY property is upwards of a million. South Bucks is an area of stark economic contrasts e.g. the far ends of 'working class' Micklefield Road and uber-affluent Kingswood Road in Tylers Green are separated by just 400m of woodland.
This simply reflects market economics - we're fortunate enough to live in a lovely area with picturesque villages and relatively good road and rail links into Central London, Oxford, Reading and Birmingham. It's not surprising house prices are high - plenty of people want to live here yet the supply is limited. Assuming greenbelt laws remain tight enough to restrict widespread rural expansion, then prices in the long term will continue to rise disproportionately - if you're already a home owner in this area, happy days. It's overkill to call this a 'crisis' - how does all the stuff NHF mention pile 'pressure on to rural communities and local services' exactly? It shouldn't make much difference who exactly live in rural areas. The number of houses and therefore volume of rural residents will remain broadly stable. The average price of £563k is inflated by the mega-properties in South Bucks - Seer Green, Chalfonts, Hazlemere, Penn, Tylers Green, Bourne End, Marlow etc. all contain good numbers of massive houses with price tags to match. It's not like living in Kensington & Chelsea where EVERY property is upwards of a million. South Bucks is an area of stark economic contrasts e.g. the far ends of 'working class' Micklefield Road and uber-affluent Kingswood Road in Tylers Green are separated by just 400m of woodland. kerlmann
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