Rural housing: Solving the escape from the country

Pamber A April 2021

John Sneddon Tetlow King says communities would more likely accept new homes if they only went to people with a local connection

While the housing crisis affects all parts of the UK, affordability is – according to official data - an even greater problem in rural than urban areas.

Government figures show 2018 lower quartile house prices in rural areas were 8.8 times higher than lower-quartile earnings, well above the 7.5 multiple seen in urban areas outside of London. And with house prices rising more quickly in rural locations than in towns and cities since the post-pandemic “race for space” prompted an urban exodus in 2020, the difference will only have become more stark since then.

Nearly three quarters of rural young people surveyed last year by YouGov said affordable housing was their top concern, and 84% of those wanting to leave the countryside said affordable housing was an important factor in that decision, draining the countryside of talent.

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