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Dreaming of a countryside retreat? You might be surprised by real rural property prices

How much would you pay for an idyllic life in the country? According to our recent survey, Brits would be willing to pay an average premium of 21% over the national average house price for a home in the pleasant hills and valleys of the UK. But depending on where you want to live, a rustic residence could actually cost a lot less than this – or a whole lot more!

We quizzed over 2,000 UK residents on whether they’d consider relocating to the countryside and if so, what percentage they’d be happy to pay over the average house price (which was at £215,847 at the time of the survey). This revealed some wildly differing expectations when it comes to how much a country home really costs.

For instance, although people who wanted to move to South Oxfordshire were willing to pay the highest premium overall (26.2%), they might be in for a shock: the average house price in the region, according to Rightmove, is £398,747 – 85% higher than the national average.

Similarly, people with their sights set on the New Forest will need to save up for longer than expected. While these people said they would be happy to pay 22.3% more than average, a New Forest home costs £404,962 or 88% more.

It’s not all bad news, though: anybody wishing to really get away from it all with a move to the Orkney Islands or Shetland Islands in Scotland will be pleasantly surprised, as house prices there are actually far less (33% and 30%, respectively) than the national average.

If you’re planning on relocating to sunny, coastal Devon and Cornwall, there’s more good news in store – average prices in these counties are just 16% and 14.5% above the national average, considerably below the amount people said they’d be happy to pay. And in North Yorkshire, which commanded one of the highest expected premiums of 24%, house prices are in fact just 6% over the average at £228,632.As with so many things in the property market, it’s location, location, location that makes all the difference when you want a place in the country. And there are always big regional variations: the price of a property in Keswick may be very different from one in nearby Cockermouth, for example. With a bit of research, you might find your dream of a countryside retreat is more affordable than you thought.

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