Scots rural life costs 17% more than in the city

Pretty but not cheap. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Pretty but not cheap. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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There is a 17 per cent premium on living in the countryside in Scotland rather than in urban areas, a report has revealed.

The annual Bank of Scotland Rural Housing Review found that people spend on average £27,000 more to live rurally north of the Border than in a town or city.

The typical rural house in Scotland costs £185,013, compared to £157,966 in urban areas. Between 2010 and 2015, the average price of a home in the Scottish countryside rose by 13 per cent compared with an average increase of 15 per cent in urban areas. In the past year the average price of a home in the countryside has risen by 5 per cent, marginally lower than the 6 per cent increase in urban areas.

Properties in the country are typically more than a fifth larger than in towns and cities. The average rural home is 120 square metres in size compared with 97 sq m in urban areas.

Nitesh Patel, economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “Living in the countryside is an aspiration for many homeowners, attracted by the prospect of a better quality of life, open space and a cleaner environment.

“However, this aspiration comes at a cost with average property values almost a fifth higher than in urban areas.Scottish local authority areas account of three of the top ten most affordable rural areas in the UK.”

Properties in the rural areas of Scotland are typically a third larger than in towns and cities. The average rural home is 
130 sq m in size compared with 100 sq m in urban areas.

East Ayrshire is the most affordable rural area in Scotland, with an average property price of £115,394 – 3.8 times the average local earnings of 30,299.

Dumfries and Galloway and Argyll and Bute also rank in the ten most affordable, UK-wide, with price to earnings ratios of 4.5 and 5.8 respectively.

All of the least affordable rural areas are in the south of England. Overall in rural Britain, the house price to earnings ration is seven.

UK-wide, between 2010 and 2015, the average price of a home in the countryside rose by 13 per cent compared with an average increase of 23 per cent in urban areas. Over the past year, however, the average price of a home in the countryside has risen by 
5 per cent compared with an average 8 per cent increase in urban areas – excluding Greater London. Overall, the rural-urban premium has narrowed from 34 per cent – or £52,279 – over the past decade.

The report found that social housing provision is typically lower in rural areas of Britain, with 12 per cent of the housing stock accounted for by social housing compared with 19 per cent in urban areas.

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