The APPG Inquiry into rural health and care, for which we have been the secretariat, has underlined really strong linkages between housing and health. This article therefore give more than a little pause for thought about the impact of housing trends on rural neighbourhoods in terms of both affordable place for health workers to live and the stock of housing for older residents to downsize to. It tells us:
Rural house prices in England and Wales are increasing twice as fast as in cities, triggering a fresh affordability crisis for young people, with hot spots flaring up across the country from Lincolnshire to Lancashire as people seek more space post-pandemic.
Prices are rising 14.2% a year in countryside locations on average compared with less than 7% in urban areas, figures analysed by Hamptons estate agency for the Guardian show. It is compounding existing affordability problems in places such as Cornwall and Devon, but the biggest percentage increases of up to 30% were in Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire, around Lancaster, in Arun in West Sussex and Amber Valley in Derbyshire.
Hamptons said registrations to buy in its rural offices were up by 50% on the same period for 2019, while city buyer registrations rose just 9%.
“People struggle to stay because of the affordability and there is not much turnover of housing,” said Elizabeth Williamson, an independent councillor in Broxtowe, whose three children aged 24 to 30 have have left the area partly due to local housing being unaffordable.
The average rural house price in the borough rose from £234,150 last May to £303,780 a year later.