Rarely, if ever, does anyone compare the hilltop villages of the Côte d’Azur or Alpes-Maritime to the small Welsh former mining hamlets near Haverfordwest.
However, older Britons selling their homes in France and returning to the UK have started to head for the tranquil communities of Pembrokeshire in west Wales to live in rural isolation and save money for their retirement.
Carol Peett, the founder of the small West Wales Property Finders, a buying agency, says that she has found homes for at least a dozen clients returning from France since last summer, and the inquiries are still coming in. “Because of Brexit, they decided that it would be too difficult to live there and so wanted to come home, but, much to our surprise, they’re deciding to explore Pembrokeshire, which is rural and escapist, yet more affordable.”
She says most of her clients are in their fifties or sixties and want somewhere peaceful to retire to after having lived abroad.
There are about a million Britons living abroad in the EU, according to the Office for National Statistics, including 157,062 in France, and it is likely that their rights will be protected post-Brexit. However, agents say that some older Britons remain anxious and are considering selling and coming home.
Whether returning from the Continent or escaping from a city, many Britons are consumed by the search for the tranquil village idyll. Here’s where they’re buying and why.
Villages in west Wales appeal to those planning for retirement because they are remote. One of the most popular areas is around Llangwm, a former mining and fishing community of 450 homes on the western bank of the Cleddau Estuary, which is also known for its annual scarecrow display. The village’s history can be traced back to an early Viking settlement, and has fishermen’s cottages and sweeping views.
Hook, near by, is also sought after for its breathtaking views, woodlands and established cricket club. “Several couples coming from France bought three or four-bedroom bungalows with gardens in the Hook or Llangwm area with wonderful views,” Peett says. “They did not want to have to move again, so chose to buy in a village with a superb community spirit, village shop, post office, pub, chemist and within a few miles of the county town.
“Others with larger budgets bought houses with holiday let potential in popular holiday areas in Pembrokeshire, such as Nevern, St Davids, Tenby and Manorbier, to have an income.”
If you have the budget, a seven-bedroom house with its own beach and bay, as well as an infinity salt-water swimming pool at Freshwater East is on sale for £1.35 million with West Wales Properties. A four-bedroom detached house in Hook, with 40 acres, a boathouse and uninterrupted estuary views is available for £850,000. You can get a spacious property for less, however. A three-bedroom period house in Hook, with a conservatory and south-facing garden can sell for as little as £325,000.
If you are thinking of moving to Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Gower, or buying a holiday property here, give Carol Peett at West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. Not only can we find you your perfect property but we can save you time, money and stress by carrying out the negotiations and micro-managing your purchase for you right through to exchange of contracts. http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-most-popular-villages-in-britain-aslice-of-the-goodlife-2jcm22k0f The Times – Friday 9th March 2017