The findings from the Halifax show that the average price of a home in an idyllic rural setting can be £293,920 – some 9.5 times the national average annual wage and 24 per cent higher than the average house price for England and Wales (£236,183) as a whole.
But buyers seem willing to pay a huge premium for a home in a National Park.
House prices in National Parks in England and Wales cost, on average, some £95,721 or 48 per cent more than their county average. This premium has risen by more than a tenth (£9,211) in the past five years.
All National Parks have higher house prices than neighbouring locations, with the Lake District commanding the largest premium relative to the average for the surrounding area.
Houses in this picturesque part of Cumbria trade at almost twice (193 per cent) the average house price in the county.
This is marginally higher than the Peak District (191 per cent) followed by the New Forest (187 per cent). Snowdonia has the smallest premium (105 per cent), but property prices there are still more than double the county average.
New Forest is the most expensive National Park: the average house price of £465,425 is 58 per cent higher than the National Parks average.
Snowdonia, the least expensive National Park, has the lowest average house price of £176,003 and is the only National Park surveyed below the £200,000 level. In twelve National Parks, the average price exceeds £250,000.
The newest National Park – the South Downs, in Hampshire and Sussex – has seen the highest rise in house prices over the past five years at 30 per cent, followed by the Lake District (20 per cent).
Only the Norfolk Broads, among National Parks, has seen a fall in house prices over the past five years (down two per cent). Overall, the average price in National Parks rose 12 per cent.
Says Suren Thiru, Halifax housing economist: “Properties that are located within National Parks typically demand a substantial premium, reflecting lifestyle benefits often associated with residing in some of the country’s most picturesque locations.
“Such areas often prove especially attractive for wealthy urban dwellers looking for a property in idyllic surroundings. However, high property prices have created affordability difficulties for many of those living and working in National Parks.”