Published: 24/07/2022 By Rebecca McNaughton, Jamie MinorsHouse prices in rural areas have risen faster than house prices in more urban locations over the past five years, according to Nationwide Building Society - with two locations in Norfolk coming top across Britain for growth. Property prices in South Norfolk - which is classified as a rural area - have risen by 19pc over the past five years, with an average price of £330,003 recorded in December last year.
Prices in Broadland, which includes large areas of the Broads National Park and is considered urban with significant rural aspects, have also risen, with an increase of 18pc and an average price of £319,182. Property prices as a whole have increased significantly over the past five years, although there does appear to be a clear divide between urban and rural areas.
On average, Nationwide Building Society says that values in areas which are mainly rural have risen by 29pc, compared to 18pc in urban areas.
Some areas closely associated with tourism, including the Broads as well as parts of Devon, South Wales and the Cotswolds, have seen particularly big price jumps, which may suggest that part of the increase comes from the purchase of second homes. The coronavirus pandemic and more flexible working opportunities have also prompted more people to relocate to rural areas, increasing demand and adding to rising prices.
In general, rural detached properties have seen the strongest rates of price growth - 32pc, on average - while urban flats have recorded the weakest price increase of around just 6pc.
The news comes as trends reveal huge numbers of people searching for house prices online. Jamie Minors, managing director of Norfolk and north Suffolk estate agency, Minors & Brady, says: "It is widely known that there has been a surge in property prices in recent years, however with inflation at an unsustainable level and economic challenges on the horizon, people are amazed at how the housing market is seemingly living in its own bubble wrapped economy.
"There have been news reports every year for the past decade that house prices will drop, crash and fall, which is largely speculative based on the ‘what goes up must come down theory’ - however the simple rules of supply and demand dictate values. "What is finally cooling demand is the cost of living, mixed with higher interest and mortgage rates. In my opinion, we are not headed for a crash, but we are headed for a much more relaxed market, more similar to that of around 2018-2019."