Why is the Cotswolds so expensive?

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The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful areas in the UK. However, Cotswolds is an expensive area to live in.

The Cotswold boasts of some of the most recognized traditional English villages. There is no doubt that house prices play a major role in determining how expensive it can be to live in an area.

The house prices in the Cotswold area has always been above the UK national average. It doesn’t matter the year you check the figures, the average house price in the Cotswolds is usually double of the UK average house price.


Cotswold, England

Planning restrictions to build new homes

I worked in the planning department of three different Local Government Authorities for over 12 years.

Working in the Local Government Authority helped my understanding of the UK planning system.

The planning law restricts the planning of new houses being built in rural areas. Usually planning permission applications will be rejected for building new houses outside the existing boundary of towns and villages.

The Cotswolds is home to quintessential British villages. These villages have a lot of astonishing history. They are small villages and haven’t seen new houses built for a very long time.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 which came into effect in July 1948 gave the power to local government authorities to approve planning proposals.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 set the foundation of the modern town and country planning in the United Kingdom.

If we follow the age-old law of supply and demand. It is not a surprise that house prices in the Cotswold area are higher than the UK average. 

The restriction to build new homes in rural areas means there is a shortage of homes. When there is a shortage of anything, the little available will be expensive.


Idyllic rural aerial view, Cotswolds

Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the unique features of the Cotswold Area.

AONB are protected because of their exceptional landscape, distinctive character and natural beauty.

They are specifically safeguarded in the national interest. The Cotswold AONB is one of the 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Because of the large areas covered by Cotswold AONB.  This means there is not enough land available outside the AONB in the Cotswold area to build new houses.


Burford, Cotswold

Affluence and celebrities

The Cotswolds area is home to a lot of British celebrities.

Celebrities don’t buy houses just anywhere. They tend to buy a house in an affluent area where their privacy can be protected.

If celebrities have a home in an area. There is no doubt the house prices in that area will skyrocket.

One of the popular celebrities who has a home in the Cotswolds is Jeremy Clarkson. He has a house in Chipping Norton.

Jeremy Clarkson co-hosted the hit BBC series Top Gear from 1988 through 2015. Top Gear is one of BBC’s biggest shows which attracts 350 million viewers worldwide. He is also known for the Amazon Prime Show ‘The Grand Tour‘.

Not only celebrities have homes in the Cotswolds. Some royal family members also have houses in the Cotswolds.

Zara Phillips is one of the Royals, she and her Rugby player husband Mike Tindall live in the Cotswolds. Princess Anne also has a property in the Cotswolds.



Easy commute to London

The Cotswold area is part of the Southwest and within a commutable distance to London.

There are a lot of people from the Cotswolds who work in London. They commute to work from the Cotswolds area.

Part of Oxfordshire County is within the Cotswolds area, Oxford is popular among places where people commute to London.

Cotswold villages in the northern part of the area are within a commutable distance to London. Those are the villages within the Oxfordshire part of the Cotswolds. You can easily join the train to London and within a few hours, you will be in London.

People who are not able to afford the astronomical price of houses in London can live within commutable distance in the Cotswolds.

Even this small budget which cannot get you a house in London but can in the Cotswolds is still a lot of money for a standard house outside of London.

People who commute from the Cotswold to London not only do it because of London house prices.

There are some groups of people who just do not like the busyness, traffic and the crowd of London. These group of people like the countryside or semi-rural area like what the Cotswold offers.

Because of the popularity of the Cotswold and being a choice place for highly skilled professionals and business people who commute to London. This factor drives the house prices in the Cotswold up.


Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold

Beautiful area

The beauty of the Cotswolds area is very easy to see if you have been to the area. the landscape in some of the Cotswold villages is breathtaking.

The neatness and organized countryside have different feels compared to a lot of areas I have been to.

You can see the historic environment which has strong links with the Romans.

A beautiful area like the Cotswold is almost guaranteed to be expensive to live in.

I am not sure if anyone will deny that Cotswold villages are some of the most beautiful in Britain. The honey-colored cottages, cozy pubs, tiny tearooms, and narrow streets are part of the features which make the Cotswold unique.

A lot of the Cotswold villages have narrow lanes that lead to the market square. The lanes were built to allow the easy shepherding of sheep. These lanes are an important part of the history of the Cotswolds area.

Most of these villages are known for their picturesque and quintessential nature.


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