Reports on the state of the housing market have been doom-laden in recent weeks. Spring may traditionally be the start of the home-hunting season in Britain, but buyers have been deterred by Brexit and affordability concerns.
The number of transactions, a key indicator, dipped 2.5 per cent, or more than 30,000, from 2017 to last year, when the figure stood at 1,163,300. Yet a closer investigation paints a different picture. Analysis of Office for National Statistics figures by Hamptons International reveals that 52 of Britain’s 297 local authorities recorded more sales in 2018 than in the previous year — a small indicator of green shoots, perhaps.
However, Wales, and particularly West Wales has been bucking the market….
Scotland and Wales
Scotland and Wales are outshining England, according to the Hamptons analysis, as a result of their booming regional economies and affordability. After the City of London, the biggest rise in the number of homes sold was in Clackmannanshire, central Scotland, at 9.4 per cent — the average sold price was £147,373, according to Zoopla.
This is among several authorities north of the border where the number of done deals rose. South Lanarkshire (up 4.4 per cent, average price £154,602), East Lothian (3.6 per cent, £239,307) and Renfrewshire (3.4 per cent, £154,622) also feature prominently.
This is no fluke: price growth in Scotland overall has outperformed England and Wales combined every month since December 2017, according to the property agency Your Move and Acadata, a research company.
However, there is an unlikely success story in Wales, where a combination of urban affordability and rural beauty is providing particular allure.
Interest from second-home buyers and downsizers is booming. The second-home hotspots of Pembrokeshire (number of transactions up 5.9 per cent, average price £187,920), and Anglesey (1.8 per cent, £192,004) all feature.
“I think many see Wales as a safe haven, somewhere that offers a quieter lifestyle, amazing scenery for long dog walks, and country pubs, while allowing many downsizers to live mortgage-free and get more house for their money,” says Jenna Maher, an associate director at Strutt & Parker’s Chester office.
Interest also remains strong from buy-to-let investors in cities in Scotland and Wales.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a-spring-housing-market-bounceback-kmsmfjxww?fbclid=IwAR1Yfm7V2PfINff8_rzqhkEcAHhYDZvyPv-8WAQi6WOszSHyBYpBy73qb1k The Times Bricks & Mortar 3rd May 019
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