The South West has one of the highest employment rates in the country at 76.9%, which is helping to push up property prices across the region. Within the South West, the Cotswold district has one of the highest current employment rates of any local authority area (85.4%), meaning that average household incomes in the area are particularly strong. Likewise Christchurch has an above average employment rate (83.0%), which means there is strong competition for people trying to find property, which in turn drives up prices.
Business start-ups are also an important indicator of demand for housing. Cotswold district has the highest level of business start-up rates per capita in the region (120.3 starts each year per 10,000 working age adult), which has helped place it at the top of the list in the South West.
East Dorset also has a high business start-up rate, with 97 starts each year per 10,000 adults. As well as this, 55% of those currently working in the area commute in from neighbouring areas, which is putting pressure on available housing as people look to move closer to their workplace and is pushing up prices.
In South Hams the main predictor for property price increases is the level of education in the area. More than half (51%) of adults in South Hams have a degree level qualification or higher, which indicates larger future earnings potential and is indicative of potential future house price pressure in the area.