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The cost of living in a picturesque village has soared

 

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sources

The Sunday Times Home
Image courtesy of, ridgewellvillage.co.uk

 

Do you think your village has been killed by "townies"

or is this trend a positive boost for rural economies?

contact us with your views .

 

 

Escape to the country

 

Sleepy villages are as much a part of the English identity as leather on willow and afternoon tea, but as anyone who's picked up a property paper recently will testify, they are very expensive places to live. So who can afford to pay these prices? City types - that's who. Figures from Hamptons, a nationwide estate agency, indicate that the number of Londoners chasing homes in the country has almost tripled in three years from 13% of all prospective buyers in 2005 to 36% at the time of writing. The demand for these locations means that property prices in some of the most popular villages is now 40% above the regional average.

 

Of course this means that the locals, whose families may have lived in these areas for generations, are being priced out. The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) research suggests that the average rural household income is £34,175 and the average rural house price is £240,222, meaning that the locals would have to borrow over seven times their income to realize their ambitions of staying put. The most sought after village locations have seen a price growth of 67% in the last five years; nationally, property prices rose by 51% in the same period. Chocolate-box beauty is not necessarily enough; the most in-demand villages are within striking distances of major commuter routes and have good local amenities such as a school, shop, post office and a pub. It would seem that the people heading into the country from the towns and cities like the idea of country living but would be terrified of being out on a limb in the open countryside. Although these big city immigrants like the idea of rural life, it would appear they don't necessarily want to get involved in village life. Research by Savills, last year, on those that favour villages as a place to live, asked what was key to village life. The results revealed that few people thought that local community was important, highlighting the fact that the nature of villages is changing. Not all are in favour of change of course. Kate Gordon of the Campaign to Protect Rural England told the Sunday Times; "Unless we act now, in a generation rural communities will become places where only the rich are able to live - to the detriment of the health, vitality and economy of the countryside". They are also set to become much bigger places as well, because according to the CRC, if the trend continues, the population of most rural areas in England and Wales will grow by almost 20%. So, where are all these people heading? Below is a comparison table of the top 20 village locations in England and Wales, compiled by Savills.

Do you think your village has been killed by "townies" or is this trend a positive boost for rural economies? Contact Us with your views .

The cost of living in a picturesque village has soared

 

 

Area

 

 

Average House Price (£)

 

 

Premium Over Country Average (%)

 

West Kington

(Wilts)

489,501
108

Brent Pelham

(Herts)

531,187
85

Coxwold

(N.Yorks)

392,648
81

Cotherstone

(Dur)

222,960
80

Litchborough

(Northants)

301,811
71

Colmworth

(Beds)

339,866
62

Alnmouth

(Nthumb)

266,441
55

St Mary Bourne

(Hants)

390,854
55

Shamley Green

(Surr)

550,696
53

Empingham

(Rut)

383,202
50

Long Melford

(Suff)

290,866
47

Guiting Power

(Glos)

313,386
39

Kintbury

(Berks)

369,617
30

Llyswen

(Powys)

233,004
27

Cerne Abbas

(Dorset)

324,288
26

Much Wenlock

(Shrop)

258,681
25

Weobley

(Here)

267,947
23

Fingest

(Bucks)

328,233
17

Llantwit Major

(V of Glam)

216,627
14

Combe Hay

(Som)

236,159
12