Our love affair with the West Country shows no sign of abating. If you fancy a fisherman’s cottage in Padstow, be prepared to part with £435,000; a substantial detached overlooking the River Dart at Dartmouth? That will be £2.95 million.
Yet there is another West Country, where the scenery is equally impressive, the travelling distance is about the same from London, and house prices are more affordable – Wales.
“We picked up our Welsh farmhouse at auction three years ago for £300,000 and it would have cost millions in a yachting resort like Salcombe,” says boat skipper Toby Forester, 30. He moved to Cosheston on the River Cleddau in Pembrokeshire with fiancée Lottie Burgess, 28, from Henley-on-Thames, after starting a boating company (experience-pembrokeshire.co.uk). “Yet here you’ll find fewer people, the scenery is gorgeous and the sailing, with 22 miles of navigable estuary at Milford Haven, is wonderful.”
Here’s how the West Country ¬compares to the other West Country – in Wales.
Swap Salcombe in Devon for Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire
It’s easy to see why Salcombe is one of the most sought-after coastal towns in the country. Although little more than a village, with just a high street, a church and a harbour, it is picture postcard perfect. Steep terraces of colourful houses slope down to the shoreline, where boats bob on the estuary.
To the west, wooded valleys cling to the cliffs of Bolt Head and to the east there’s a line of sandy beaches. “It has a touch of magic about it,” says Edward Tallack of Marchand Petit estate agents. “The market for property below £700,000 is very strong and there’s something here for most budgets.” It’s pricey: the average home here costs £741,000, though you can pick up a one-bedroom apartment for £250,000, according to Tallack.
Saundersfoot, by contrast, is a real bargain, with properties on average a third lower, at £238,000. Although if you want to max out your budget, you can pay up to £1.5 million for a large detached house with a view. If you’re interested, you’d better act quickly. “Anything good is going under offer in the first few days,” says Carol Peett of West Wales Property Finders. “A sweet two-bedrooom cottage on the coast with a reserve price of £225,000 recently went to sealed bids and sold for £285,000.”
Saundersfoot is the pick of the sailing communities. The luxurious St Bride’s Spa Hotel and the upmarket Cliff restaurant may give it an air of exclusivity, but it is far from being snooty. It has a thriving am dram group, a busy Rotary Club, and when someone suggests a New Year’s Day dip, 2,000 turn up.
Swap Truro in Cornwall for St David’s, Pembrokeshire
Romantics relocate to Cornwall for the moors, the beaches and the surf. Realists look out for an M&S, good schools and a spot of culture, which is why they move to Truro. With a population of around 20,000 and surrounded by low-lying green hills, Truro has the feel of a prosperous spa town. The gothic cathedral leads into a tangle of cobbled streets and alleyways bursting with small independent shops. Buyers seek out the Georgian and Victorian town houses, which are reminders of the city’s tin mining past. The Avenue, where a large detached costs around £800,000, is one of the most popular streets. Little wonder Lloyds say Truro is Britain’s third most unaffordable city for locals.
But even tiny Truro is Mumbai compared to St David’s, which has remained unspoilt largely thanks to its isolation. Holidaymakers of the Sixties in search of sun and sea stopped when they got to Tenby, leaving St David’s and the outer reaches of Pembrokeshire to the hardier nature lovers. Now it is renowned for its Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, its surfing beaches, bird watching, kayaking and coasteering. The cathedral is the hub of cultural events, notably the classical music festival held in May. You will pay a premium for a house with parking. An average property is £250,000, but be prepared to pay over £800,000 for a Grade II-listed farmhouse.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/priced-west-country-buy-wales/ – The Daily Telegraph Wednesday, 31st July
If you are looking to move to Wales or buy a property in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Gower, 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.