House prices in North Devon rise more than anywhere else in the UK

Homes along the Lynmouth River in North Devon Credit: PA

House prices in North Devon have risen faster than anywhere else in the UK.

New analysis by Nationwide Building Society found property values in rural areas which have risen by 29% over the past five years, while those in urban areas have increased by 18%.

North Devon topped the list, with prices rising by 24% meaning the average house price is now £326,848.

The Cotswolds also saw significant increases, with the average house price now £481,402 - a rise of 19%.

Torridge and Mid Devon were also among the top 16 - with house prices rising by 18% in each area. It means the average price in Torridge is now £292,098 while in Mid Devon it is £287,337.

Somerset West and Taunton has also seen rises of 17% with the average house price now at £286,910.

Andrew Harvey, a senior economist at Nationwide, said second home ownership and holiday lets may be behind the growth.

He said: “ONS data suggests that the rate of second home ownership is significantly above average in areas such as South Hams, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion - areas which are amongst those seeing the fastest rates of growth.”

The picturesque villages of the Cotswolds have also seen a large rise in property prices Credit: PA

Managing director at Charles Head Estate Agents Nikki Povey told ITV News West Country a rise in prices means sellers are being optimistic with the asking prices for their properties.

She said buyers are then regularly putting in offers much higher than the asking price to secure the house.

Nikki said: "For the higher end houses we have seen houses that have an asking price of £1.5million go for £1.71million and even houses at the lower end have gone for more than £50,000 higher than the asking price."

She added: "Even with the increase in price people are still coming down.

"Part of that is due to the pandemic and the need for staycations but I think it's looking likely to stay this way for a while."

She said so-called "boomerang buyers" - people who buy in the countryside but then return to the city - could also be behind an increase in sales.

"This is most common among young professionals who like the idea of the country dream only to find it doesn't suit them for whatever reason that might be," she said.

"A lot of houses have come back on the market after six months or so."