YOUNG and low-paid workers face high prices for living in rural and coastal areas as former city dwellers find they can work remotely, the figures suggest.
Squeezing housing affordability could help hotel companies struggling to fill vacancies, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
In July 2021, house prices were increasing at around three times the national annual rate (8.0%) in some rural and coastal areas, such as Conwy in North Wales (25.0%), North Devon (22 , 5%) and Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales (21.4%), according to ONS figures.
In contrast, house prices in the City of London borough fell just over 10% per year in July.
The ONS bulletin said: “Rising house prices and private rents mean that some workers may no longer live in rural and coastal areas, contributing to skills shortages in the tourism and tourism industries. the hotel industry on which their local economies depend. ”
The average UK house price was £ 256,000 in July 2021, up £ 19,000 from a year earlier.
While house price changes are in part due to a temporary stamp duty holiday, they also reflect a shift in consumer preferences, with growth being driven by rural and coastal areas, the ONS said.
He continued, “There is evidence that people are looking for housing in rural areas, rather than cities, due to a change in their circumstances during the pandemic, such as the ability to work remotely.”
Potential buyers are looking for more space, with prices for single-family homes (9.0% annual growth in July) steadily rising faster than those for townhouses (7.7%) or apartments (6.1%).
Sarah Coles, Personal Finance Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The countryside and the seaside were property hotspots last year, as more city dwellers shrug the sticks and head for sticks.
“House prices are increasing at three times the national average in some of these regions, which excludes the young and the lower paid.
“It is not only devastating for families, who can no longer afford to live in their hometown, it is also a nightmare for restaurants, pubs, hotels and ice cream parlors, whose employees are leaving home. city.
“How and where we want to live has changed over the past year, so more and more people have joined the space race.”
Ms Coles added: ‘In tourist areas renters have been hit by landlords switching their properties to more lucrative holiday rentals in order to take advantage of the boom in the number of people on holiday in the UK.
“It’s a horrific struggle for young people and low-income people in particular, which includes many of those who work in the hotel companies that dominate the local economy. It has also created a real headache for those small businesses who are struggling to find staff as more and more of their employees leave the area. ”
Nathan Emerson, managing director of the Body of Realtors and Rental Agents, Propertymark, said: “The pandemic has been a catalyst for change in the lives of many people and we are now seeing a rush for bigger properties, more space. exterior and a more idyllic life.
“Add to that low interest rates and the stamp duty holiday and what we have seen is enormous pressure on rural and coastal areas whose housing supply and infrastructure are not designed for such an influx. .
“We have also seen house prices in these areas rise; this is because so many properties have seen such high demand that they have been the best and the finest with up to 19 buyers per home.
“While buyers from outside the region bring with them higher wages, the bidding wars have been astronomical in some hot spots.
“Other areas, mainly cities like London, have seen a dramatic drop in demand and therefore low prices. For this reason, we have seen these places become more attractive to investors. ”