Welsh house prices grew by 3.3% in 2017 – a slightly faster rate than the UK as a whole, latest figures have suggested. However, this does not reflect the true picture as local markets within Wales vary considerably. Pembrokeshire saw the highest rise at 8.1% whilst, in contrast, prices in Wrexham went down 2.1%. In Ceredigion they rose 4.9% and in Carmarthenshire 2.7%.
“The market in Pembrokeshire in 2017 was the busiest I have ever seen since starting the company in 2004;” said Carol Peett, Managing Director of West Wales Property Finders.
“2018 is showing signs of being even busier, with more enquiries for our property finding services coming in during the first week of January than we normally get in three months”. “
“In contrast to the predictions from many of doom and gloom due to Brexit, it has boosted house sales here in West Wales in every sector from bungalows to smallholdings through to large country houses, with clients coming to us who are moving back to the UK from France, Italy and Spain due to perceived difficulties living there post Brexit. More people are also buying houses here to use as holiday homes for a few years and to holiday let to take advantage of the boom in staycationing due, in part, to the value of the Pound and then to retire to later on. Many of these are locals to Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion who have moved away for work purposes but who wish to return to their roots for their retirement. Overcrowding in South East and South West of England is also sighted as the reason many of our clients decide to move here, or return here, for a better quality of life”
“There has also been a welcome increase in the number of young people from the area who have left the county for job opportunities elsewhere but who are now returning having made some money and buying smallholdings or properties with outbuildings here and setting up successful businesses”.
Dominic Subbiani, director of FBM estate agents in Tenby said: “We probably have about 60% of all our purchases from outside the area and if you look at Tenby, St Davids or Little Haven, these are hot-spots, these are higher than in places like Milford Haven. But what was most impressive was the 30% rise in transactions, across all his seven branches, even in areas where most of the buyers were local”.
Over 2017, 18 counties saw an overall rise in prices, but in nine of them prices declined in the last quarter. In Monmouthshire, prices fell overall, but rose in the last three months of the year.
Tom Denman, chief financial officer at Principality Building Society, said the Wales-wide growth was largely down to proportionally more transactions in the higher-demand areas such as Cardiff and Newport.
“New builds in areas such as Newport, have resulted in a price premium that has helped to push up average prices in those regions,” he said.
“A shortage in housing supply, high employment, and low interest rates, have all contributed to growth.”
He said the economic conditions for 2018 indicated house prices would continue to grow modestly in Wales.
The Stamp Duty Waiver introduced by the Chancellor for first time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, will disappear in Wales, but not England, in April with the introduction of the ill-thought-out Land Transaction Tax by the Labour run Welsh Assembly. After that time in Wales, no tax will be paid by anyone buying a house up to the value of £180,000. However, substantial increases in the rate of tax payable on property purchases over £400,000 will, Carol Peett believes, see a temporary drop in prices paid for properties over that amount with offers reflecting the extra amount that will be due in tax. After the initial market reaction she believes prices will start to pick up again, however, in the Autumn.
Principality began producing its quarterly housing price index last year. It uses information from the Land Registry, which records all house sales, to produce the Wales index.
Figures from Nationwide earlier this month suggested prices rose by 2.6% in 2017. Last week, the Halifax said UK house prices had risen by 2.7% in 2017, compared with a 6.5% increase in 2016, based on its mortgage transactions. It also said Wales, along with the East Midlands, saw its house prices grow faster than anywhere else in the UK in 2017 at a rise of 8% echoing the trend indicated by the Principality research.
According to the Bank of England Inflation Calculator, the average house price in Wales in January 2007 of £162,973 would be approximately £207,460 by 2016, accounting for inflation.
The housing market in Wales contrasts with the outlook for the UK as a whole, where prices are declining in London, the South East, East Anglia and north-east England.
If you are looking to move to West Wales, or purchase a retirement home or buy to holiday let here, give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can use our expert local knowledge to find your dream home for you whilst saving you time, money and stress. http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk