Asking prices for houses have hit a record high for a third consecutive month, according to figures from Rightmove, but there are still some rural locations across the UK where house-hunters could find a bargain.
Property rates increased by 0.8%, the equivalent of £2,509, on average in June 2021 – taking the typical asking price to £336,073.
It was the largest June increase in Rightmove’s index since 2015.
According to property experts there are several reasons for the continuing rise in house prices, but the pandemic has had the biggest influence, especially in rural areas.
Figures from Cornerstone Tax have revealed that in the past year, 10% of Brits have moved away from a city or urban area (3,319,000), while 44% of Brits feel that the impact of coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing.
"The property market has undergone a remarkable period of growth over the last year, mainly thanks to the Stamp Duty Holiday, but also due to the pandemic and how it has affected peoples' views towards city living," explains Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global and Moveable.
"People seem to be after more space inside the house, and more access to green space outside the house, and all for a cheaper price."
Bath also believes the fact fewer people currently have to travel into the office every day for work, has meant more are able to seek out a new life in the country.
Thankfully, although property prices have skyrocketed almost everywhere but in London, there are still some places you can find yourself a bargain - particularly in the North of England and the East of Scotland.
"These largely rural areas have also seen a surge in demand due to this abundance of cheap property and green space," Bath adds.
Bag a bargain property in the country
Property experts at Zoopla agree that those looking for more affordable properties should put certain rural areas on their radar.
First up are the areas of Cleator Moor and Egremont. Located, respectively, on the 190 miles coast-to-coast walk that spans Northern England, and at the edge of the Lake District National Park, according to Zoopla both areas have a lot to offer home-hunters searching for a rural idyll.
Girvan in South Ayrshire is another remote area wannabe buyers should look out for. Its coastal scenery includes the island of Ailsa Craig, lying just offshore, while inland are lush green hills, with many walkers' trails in Carrick Forest.
For those on the hunt for a property near an area of outstanding beauty, but at a more affordable price, the spa town of Malvern, located at the foot of the spectacular Malvern Hills has seen an increase in affordability of late.
According to Zoopla average house prices stand at £265,710, while the price to earnings ratio is 3.73 times, making it pretty affordable right now.
Watch: Martin Roberts shares what to look out for when buying a property.
Areas in North Devon are also a good affordable bet, with Bideford and Torrington both featuring in Zoopla's top ten list for improved affordability.
For those looking for a home near the coast, the historic harbour town of Bideford could be an attractive option with its independent shops and picturesque quay. The town has an average house price of £238,116 and price to earnings ratio of 5.28 times.
A separate report by Coulters Property, has found that County Durham in North East England is the most affordable rural area to buy a home in the UK, with the average property price coming in at just £109,980.
The picturesque countryside region is the most attractive to those buying a home on a budget, closely followed by Copeland in Cumbria and the scenic district of Wyre in Lancashire.
Other rural areas worth having on your radar include Northumberland, West Lindsey in Lincolnshire, and Fenland in Cambridgeshire.
According to the property experts at Coulters, as well as having attractive property prices, these areas are also well known for their strong sense of local community spirit, pretty backdrops and country charm.
If you're looking to seek out some more affordable property hotspots, here's the full list of Coulter's top 10 most affordable rural areas...
County Durham (£109,980 average house price)
West Lindsey (£180,769)
East Lindsey (£184,366)
East Riding of Yorkshire (£197,994)