Nearly one third of houses are bought for cash in rural areas, according to research by the Commission for Rural Communities.

 

The CRC has released a report which shows that in 2005 over 47,000 houses were bought for cash in rural areas, equivalent to nearly one third of all rural house sales for the year.

 

The south west of England had the highest proportion of cash purchases when compared to all other English regions.

 

The CRC’s analysis of the most recent HM Land Registry data shows that in rural settlements a greater proportion of house purchases are wholly paid for in cash than in urban districts.

 

The report also shows that

• In villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings in sparse areas nearly 50% of all purchases are made with cash.

• There are high proportions of houses bought with cash in districts where there are also high proportions of second homes, high percentages of households on low income, high rates of net internal migration and high rates of population growth.

• Of the 71 districts with the highest proportion of cash purchases, 53 are rural.

 

Stuart Burgess, the Rural Advocate and Chairman of the CRC, pointed out that buying houses for cash has long-term implications for the sustainability of the countryside.

 

 “Buying houses for cash in rural areas has increased the pressure on an already over stretched housing market and exacerbates the problems of affordability.

 

“Rural people are increasingly unable to live in the village or hamlet of their choice and wealthy people buying up homes for cash will simply make this situation worse.”