National parks 'more expensive to buy in'
Buying a home in a national park is usually much more expensive than it is in the surrounding areas, a new study by Lloyds Bank has confirmed.
The bank's annual survey of comparative prices showed that 11 out of 12 national parks had higher prices than the county or counties they were located in. Snowdonia in Wales was the exception.
It means that for many people living in such areas, rental property may be much-needed as buying a home will be harder to afford. Often, prices are inflated due to the high demand for holiday cottages or among those wishing to move to scenic places they may have previously enjoyed visiting.
The Lake District has the highest premium, with prices at over double (105 per cent) the county average for Cumbria. However, the situation is not as bad in the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales, at 27 per cent.
Affordability is at its worst in the New Forest, which has an 86 per cent premium over Hampshire as a whole and average house prices of £312,000, the costliest of any national park.
Lloyd's Bank's mortgage products director Andrew Mason said: "Buying a home in one of the most beautiful spots in the country usually comes with a substantial price tag. New development is also very limited in these areas which can also be a contributing factor.
"With the difference between local earnings and property prices being so large, it can make it very challenging for those living and working in national parks to buy their own home."
The Peak District was the first national park established in 1951, with six more added during the 1950s.
In 1989 the Norfolk Broads was added, although officially it is not a national park for technical reasons concerning its governing authority's extra responsibilities for water navigation.
England also gained the South Downs and New Forest in the 2000s, with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs plus the Cairngorms being designated in the 2000s.
In 2007 the Cairngorms was expanded, with the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales both increasing in size last year.