Estate agents in Wales expect people who opted for rural living over urban living during lockdown to revert their decisions and return to the city.
One property firm is predicting that smallholdings, which have been extremely sought after, will become more widely available on the market in the coming year as those who made “the knee-jerk reaction” to quit the city after lockdown, decide it is not for them after enduring a cold muddy winter in the country. Other estate agencies have described buyers realising “that the grass isn’t always greener” after moving away from London to rural areas.
In 2021, property prices in Wales grew at the fastest rate of anywhere in the UK, with Welsh local authorities making up 12 of the top 20 locations in England and Wales for year-on-year rural price growth, according to research by Hamptons estate agency.
Carmarthenshire prices were up 17%, while Blaenau Gwent was up by 16%. Pembrokeshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf were up 15 %, and in north Wales, Wrexham and Gwynedd were both 14% according to the Land Registry.
According to Carol Peett, the Managing Director of buying agency West Wales Property Finders http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk, the market in some areas such as Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion were exceptionally busy.
“We have not seen this much activity in the housing market in west Wales since the early 2000s, with properties from bungalows right through to large country houses in high demand,” she said.
“We have seen a huge rise of people returning to their roots due to the pandemic. People who were born and grew up here in west Wales and who went away for university or to work are returning in large numbers.
“We have had a number of doctors from major UK hospitals coming home to work locally having worked flat out over the past 18 months with Covid patients. People moving back due to being able to work from home, which the roll out of Superfast broadband has expedited, and others who have re-evaluated their lifestyle due to Covid and are now determined to give their children the sort of childhood they experienced here and are moving back and starting up small businesses close to their extended families.
“The upgrading of Broadband has also seen an increase in families moving here where they can work from home and perhaps just attend their offices in London, Bristol, Cardiff, etc. for one or two days a week. Others who have endured lock down with children in a small flat or house without a garden have taken this opportunity to escape the towns and cities and buy a smallholding in rural Wales.”
Despite the Welsh Governments aim to tackle the second homes crisis in rural Wales, research has shown an actual fall of 5% year on year on those purchasing second homes.
The Sunday Times ran an article headlined “Why I regret my pandemic property purchase” and reported the experience of “Daniel and Emma” who moved from Stockwell to Dorset but have found themselves missing their friends after 18 months in the countryside. They are now looking to move back to London.
“The housing market has been a bit like the recent fuel crisis — everyone thought there was a shortage and went and filled their tanks, worried they would miss out, when in reality there was no need,” Guy Robinson, the head of residential agency at Strutt & Parker, told the Sunday Times. “Some now wonder if they moved too quickly and got caught up in a hot market and paying over the odds.”
The article writes: “The reality is kicking in. An hour’s drive to buy a cup of coffee; four-hour commutes; dark winters and cold, lonely nights. For some former city slickers, the buyer’s remorse is so acute that they are already selling and moving back to tarmacked civilisation. They just don’t want to tell anyone about the biggest, most expensive mistake of their lives.”
West Wales Property Finders predicts that prices will continue upwards in 2022, particularly for coastal properties. Overall increases however, will not be at the same rate of the past 18 months.
They also predicted that coastal properties will rise by some 12% in 2022, but the average property prices only by circa 5%-7% as more properties come onto the market.
Wales on Line – 14th December 2021 http://Pandemic rural home buyers are returning to the city, according to estate agents – Wales Online
If you are looking to move to Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion, or buy property here, give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can find your perfect property for you whilst saving you time, stress, and often money too.