Monday, 6 August 2012 2:25 PM
Home in the national parks of England and Wales now cost more than ten times average earnings, according to a survey by Lloyds TSB.
The bank found that buyers must pay an average of almost £90,000 extra to live in the officially designated scenic areas compared to prices in the surrounding county.
The premium in the 12 parks was £87,968 or 45 per cent. That is more than £30,000 higher than the £56,626 premium in 2002.
The Peak District has the highest price premium at £162,650 or 107 per cent above the surrounding area. New Forest (94 per cent) and the Lake District (70 per cent) were second and third.
Snowdonia has the smallest premium above local prices at just six per cent.
The average house price in the national parks has risen by £170,000 since 2002 to £365,259.
Owners in five parks have seen the value of their home double in the last 10 years. The biggest increases came in Snowdonia (111 per cent), the North York Moors (109 per cent) and Pembrokeshire Coast (106 per cent) whereas the Broads saw the smallest rise (19 per cent).
However, all those price rises have led to a big deterioration in affordability with the average home in a national park now worth 10.8 times average gross annual earnings. In 2002 the multiple was 7.7.
The New Forest is the least affordable of the 12 with the £474,883 average price worth 13.3 times average earnings. The South Downs (11.8) and Dartmoor (11.4) were second and third.
Snowdonia is the most affordable national park with the £167,773 average price representing 6.5 times local earnings.
Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, said: "The quality of life benefits associated with living in the some of the country's most scenic destinations resonate strongly among many homebuyers. Such destinations are also popular with those looking for a second property. As a result, properties in National Parks typically trade at a significant premium to homes in neighbouring areas.
"The downside of high property prices is that homes are often difficult to afford for those living and working in such locations; a situation that has got worse over the past decade as prices have risen sharply."