New Forest is the most expensive national park in which to buy a home, while Snowdonia is the most affordable, according to research from Lloyds Bank.

What’s the latest?

Homeowners are paying a six-figure premium to buy a property in a national park.

At an average of £368,804, homes in 12 national parks across England and Wales cost an average of £116,501 or 46% more than properties in their surrounding county, according to Lloyds Bank.

New Forest is the most expensive national park in which to buy a home, with properties averaging £581,448, a massive £268,856 premium on properties outside of the park boundary.

Homes in the Lake District, the UK’s most visited national park, have the highest premium in percentage terms, costing more than double those in the rest of the county.

Andrew Mason, mortgage products director, Lloyds Bank, said: “Buying a home in one of the most beautiful spots in the country usually comes with a substantial price tag.”Above: On the market for £325,000 in Staveley, this two-bedroom semi-detached house is nearly £40,000 cheaper than the average house price in the Lake District National Park Above: Or, how about this three-bedroom cottage in Borrowdale valley: at £325,000, it's about £39,000 less than the Lake District's average house price

Why is this happening?

Unsurprisingly, people are prepared to pay significantly more to live in a natural beauty spot.

At the same time, development in national parks also tends to be very limited, "which can also be a contributing factor" to bumping up prices, Mason said. 

Who does it affect?

The steep rise in property values in national parks relative to those in the surrounding area has priced many local people out of the market.

The average cost of a home in a national park is 11.7 times higher than typical local annual earnings, compared with a house price to earnings ratio of eight for England and Wales as a whole.

Mason said: “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 home.”

But there is some good news, as homes in Snowdonia are actually nearly £5,000 cheaper than those in the surrounding area.

Above: Available for £60,000 less than the average house price in nearby Snowdonia National Park is this two-bedroom end-terrace house, in Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales, for £120,000

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

New Forest National Park is the least affordable place to buy a home, with properties costing an average of 15.2 times average local earnings.

It is followed by South Downs National Park at 14.9 times and the Lake District at 11.5 times.

Snowdonia National Park is the most affordable place to buy a property, with homes averaging 6.8 times local pay, while in Brecon Beacons and the Yorkshire Dales they are around eight times higher.

Snowdonia is also home to the cheapest properties in a national park, with the typical home costing £180,126, while the Brecon Beacons is not far behind at £222,631.

House prices in South Downs National Park have seen the highest growth in the past 10 years, rising by 41%.

But the cost of property in the Yorkshire Dales has actually fallen by 5% or £13,110 during the same period.Above: Priced at nearly £30,000 less than the average cost of a home in Yorkshire Dales National Park is this three-bedroom stone cottage, in Gargrave, available on Zoopla for £250,000

Top 3 takeaways

  • Homeowners are paying a £116,501 premium to buy a property in a national park
  • The average home in a national park costs £368,804, 46% more than properties in their surrounding county
  • New Forest is the most expensive national park in which to buy a home, with properties averaging £581,448

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