WORKERS are prepared to spend longer commuting in their cars so they can return home to an idyllic village life.

But that is having an effect on property prices.

The phenomenon, which is having an effect on house prices in the Yorkshire Dales, came under the national spotlight on BBC television's Homes Under the Hammer.

The latest programme followed the sale by auction of a stone cottage at Grewelthorpe, near Ripon.

The cottage, which needed major renovation, reached a price of £144,000 at auction, which did not meet the reserve.

But the property, near the Hackfall Wood Site of Special Scientific Importance, later sold for £145,000.

Richard Smailes, of Harrogate estate agents Beadnall and Copley, which featured in the programme, said the cottage at Grewelthorpe was typical of many others.

Television cameras took viewers around the property, pointing out where improvements could be made and calculating the potential costs.

Mr Smailes said villages in the Ripon and Pateley Bridge areas were becoming very popular with people who wanted to live in the countryside and who were prepared to drive up to an hour to reach work.

He said: "The area really is beautiful and, equally, you are not in the middle of nowhere, being handy for Ripon, Harrogate or the A1."