Recent analysis has shown house prices in predominantly rural areas have risen by 22 per cent over the last five years, more than urban areas at 17 per cent.

It comes from building society Nationwide, the latest analysis from which show rural semi-detached properties saw the strongest rate of price growth, while urban flats saw the weakest.

Between December 2018 and December 2023, average prices in predominately rural areas increased by 22 per cent, compared with 17 per cent in predominately urban areas.

Out of a list of the top 20 local authority areas in terms of rural house price increases, the Westmorland and Furness council area placed 20th best, with an average house price of £225,657 and a five-year percentage increase of three.

Andrew Harvey, Nationwide’s senior economist, said: “Average house prices across both urban and rural areas declined a little overall during 2023, which reflects the rise in borrowing costs, which have added to affordability pressures.

“Despite rural areas performing better overall, only eight out of the 20 top-performing local authorities in 2023 were classed as predominantly rural.

“Nonetheless, this does include a number of tourist hotspots such as Devon (South Hams and East Devon) and Westmorland and Furness in the Lake District.

“This suggests some of the demand may be being driven by those buying holiday or second homes.

“Increased demand for properties in rural areas over recent years has been part of the ‘race for space’ seen during the pandemic.

“However, it is actually rural semi-detached properties that have seen the strongest price growth between December 2018 and December 2023, with average prices increasing by 24 per cent.

“Rural terraces increased by 23 per cent over the same period, as did urban semis, while rural detached properties increased by 22 per cent.

“Flats saw considerably weaker price growth, particularly those in predominately urban areas, which increased by just five per cent over the last five years.”