Worries over young being priced out of rural homes
Survey shows area is among most pricey in Scotland
Rural properties in Perth and Kinross are among the most expensive in Scotland, a new study has revealed.
And campaigners fear young families are being priced out of countryside locations across the region, where only 36% of properties are snapped up by first-time buyers.
The Bank of Scotland survey shows the average cost of a home in rural Perthshire is £195,950, compared to £166,696 in urban areas of Scotland.
The average wage in Perth and Kinross is £33,307, giving a price-to-earning ratio of 5.9.
The area is second only to East Lothian on the league of most expensive rural areas. East Ayrshire – where average prices are just under £128,900 – is the most affordable (with a 4.1 price-to-earning ratio).
Local MSP Murdo Fraser said: “Perth and Kinross is one of the most picturesque places to live in Scotland and it doesn’t surprise me that it is the country’s second most expensive,” he said.
“However, that being said, with much of rural Perth and Kinross still suffering from slow or non-existent broadband connections and infrequent transport links, there is clearly an imbalance here.
“Furthermore, if we are to attract younger families and residents to rural areas, then property will need to be more affordable.”
He added: “Ultimately, Perth and Kinross is a desirable place to live and this should be seen as a badge of honour for the area but it must not come at the cost of encouraging younger people to move here.”
In recent months, there has been a surge in viewings and sales at rural locations such as Craigie and Scone. Traditional, picture-postcard villages continue to be a big draw for househunters.
Jim Perrett, who chairs the community council at Dunning – a 1,000-population village in west Perthshire – said: “The market here changes all the time.
“You sometimes see several properties on offer, which get sold fairly quickly all at once. But then there is one house here which has been on the market for about two-and-a-half years.
“Dunning is one of those places where once people move here, they stay for a long time. There aren’t many other places left where the pub is still a centre of village life.
“We’ve lost one of our three pubs recently but the two that are left are always well used.”
Mr Perrett added: “I think Dunning is just the right size. There have been about 60 new homes here in the last 30 years but there are plans in the pipeline for about 80 more and I worry that could change the character of the area altogether.”
Graham Blair, mortgages director at Bank of Scotland, said: “The countryside continues to attract homeowners.
“However, this comes at a premium with rural property prices on average 11% higher than in urban areas.”
The village square near St Serfs Church, Dunning. There are worries areas like the Perthshire village are becoming unaffordable for younger buyers.
Left: Jim Perrett, Dunning Community Council chairman and right: a view of the village.