THE NEW Forest is the most expensive national park to live in or near to with an average property price of £643,371, a new survey has found.

Lloyds’ analysis of Land Registry figures found that the New Forest is the most expensive national park, commanding average house prices of £643,371, or a premium of £317,426 to live there, compared with the surrounding county.

The bank discovered that average house prices near national parks are equal to around 11.6 times gross local earnings and cost nearly £128,000 more than those in their surrounding county areas.

Home-buyers wanting to live near a national park face paying up to 15 times their wages. Across England and Wales house prices are generally around 7.6 times average earnings.

The most affordable national park is Snowdonia in north Wales, the second most expensive is the South Down national park.

Mortgages director, Lloyds Bank, Andrew Mason, said: “While living in a national park comes with the attraction of some of the most picturesque parts of the country, this comes with a premium price tag to house-hunters, particularly those who work locally and may have difficulty in affording a home in the same area.