Wales Housing Market Described as “Bonkers!”

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Key Highlights

  • Already robust in 2020, Wales housing prices skyrocketed +11% by March 2021
  • South Wales seeing huge amount of interest

Welsh Rural Market “Absolutely Bonkers!”

The housing market in Wales was doing just fine heading into 2020. Then the COVID outbreak hit and both buyer demand and home prices went “absolutely bonkers.”

According to the UK House Price Index Summary compiled by the Office of National Statistics, home prices in Wales jumped +11%.  This 11% y/y increase is the largest annual increase among all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Demand Skyrocketed

According to Daniel Thomas, managing director of Fine & Country Cardiff, “Since the pandemic, the number of buyers from England has soared.  With more and more people deciding to work from home permanently, buyers are escaping to the countryside.  The well-connected but still rural areas of South Wales have seen a huge amount of interest from buyers already in Wales and from those in England.”

Edward Friend, a solicitor, notary public and director of Llandeil’s Carreg Law,couldn’t agree more.

Friend said, “The Welsh rural market has been absolutely bonkers. Wales is very cheap, comparatively speaking, to buy property.  And there’s not enough property at the moment to meet the demand.”

Welsh Home Prices

The average price for a Welsh residential property during this past March was US$262,250, some $100,000 less than the overall average in Britain.

The smallest annual price gain among the 22 local authority areas in Wales was in Penbrokeshire.  This picturesque coastal community’s year-over-year home price increase was 4.5%.

The managing director of Barry’s West Quay Estates and Lettings, Fred Johnson, said that he just matches people who walk into his office saying they want a four-bedroom house in such and such an area and sea views with available properties that meet those specifics.  Johnson said he often hasn’t enough time to list a for-sale house “…before they’re snapped up by eager buyers.”

Current Main Buying Theme – Permanent, Not Holiday, Homes

Johnson told The New York Times that he has been seeing younger buyers and families who want larger and more spacious homes including land as their permanent homes.

Thomas with Fine & Country Cardiff said, “The south and southwest of Wales have been the hot spots for many buyers for years and continue to be the most sought-after locations, offering stunning coastline and amazing rural vistas, all with easy motorway access to some fantastic city life in Cardiff (the country’s capital), Swansea and even to London.”

Thomas believes that Wales is “fantastic” for both living and investing. “We’re going to see house prices really continue to rise.  We’ve seen +10% y/y so far, and I think we’re going to see that over the next two years.”

Who’s Buying?

 

Video touring has essentially opened up the Wales housing market to the world.  Long-ago Welsh emigrants are returning to the country as well as buyers from the UK, US, South Africa, Australia, Canada, the Middle and Far East, Central Europe, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

Wales has no restrictions on foreign homebuyers.  Buyers are encouraged to hire a Welsh attorney as there are multiple legal differences between buying in England and buying in Wales. There are also substantial tax differences between those who become permanent residents and those using the property as a second home and who reside permanently elsewhere.

 

Thanks to The New York Times.

 

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