As property prices and economic growth languish in other parts of the UK, Wales is flourishing, with house prices predicted to rise by 20 percent over the next five years. In September 2018, the average cost of a home in Wales reached an all-time high of £184,722.
Visits to Wales are on the increase since bridge tolls at both Severn bridges were scrapped in December 2018. Recent figures show a 10 percent rise in crossings at the M4 bridge and estate agents in Chepstow, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen are seeing a flurry of activity as people look to move across the water from pricier Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
With this growing interest in buying property in Wales, we’ve decided to highlight some of the many great reasons to consider investing in a Welsh home.
The natural and historic appeal of Wales
Wales offers every imaginable outdoor attraction, with unspoilt natural scenery, beaches, mountains, lakes, history and a great sporting tradition.
An amazing 26 percent of the country is either National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is enduringly popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts, offering surfing, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing and sailing.
There are 100 castles for lovers of history as well as almost 400 lakes and 50 islands, home to colonies of puffins, Manx shearwater and other seabirds. The coastline also sees regular visits from basking sharks, whales, porpoises and bottlenose dolphins.
The vibrant Welsh culture
Art and culture have always had a strong presence in Wales, including leading music and literary festivals. The Arts Council of Wales states that eight out of ten Welsh adults attend the arts, rising to nine out of ten in the 16-24 age group.
Wales is particularly well known for the various eisteddfod (festivals of literature, music and performance) held throughout the country each year. The most popular and well known of these Welsh cultural festivals is the National Eisteddfod of Wales, which takes place annually at different venues around the country.
The Welsh lifestyle
Sheep famously outnumber people three to one and it rarely feels crowded unless you happen to be in Cardiff when the much-loved Welsh rugby team are playing. However, the main cities, Cardiff and Swansea, have excellent facilities, including shops, restaurants, galleries and the renowned Principality Stadium.
In a 2016 study, Welsh people were found to be the happiest with where they were living out of any area of the UK, with 93.4 percent saying they were happy, a compelling reason to buy property in Wales.
Some of the UK’s best places to live
The Sunday Times’ 2018 ‘Best Places to Live’ list named Mumbles in Swansea Bay as the best place to live in Wales. Criteria taken into account in compiling the list included jobs, schools, culture, local shops, community spirit and broadband speed. The former fishing village has seen extensive development and investment in recent years. Average house prices in Mumbles are currently around £302,000 according to Zoopla.
High quality restaurants abound in second-placed Abergavenny, famous for its annual food festival. The coastal village of Abersoch on the Llŷn Peninsula was third, popular with lovers of dinghy sailing and other water sports. Average house prices are £278,000 and £440,000 respectively.
Also included on the list were Colwinston, Laugharne, Monmouth, Penarth, Presteign, Saundersfoot and St Davids.
The Sunday Times list of ‘Best Places To Live By The Sea’, published in the summer of 2018, names Aberdyfi in Gwynedd at number one in the UK. A pretty village, situated on the Dyfi estuary, it offers restaurants, shops, a championship golf course and sailing. Average prices are £321,000.
Both Cardiff and Swansea boast modern waterside city living, along with a good selection of period property and family homes.
Lots of affordable places to live
If you’re on a budget, there is ample scope to buy property in Wales. Average house prices and the cost of living are still cheaper than in England, with many areas particularly good value.
Swansea is one of the most affordable cities in the UK in which to buy a family home, with average house prices of £183,000.
Ferndale and Tonypandy in the Rhondda Cynon Taf borough have average prices of just £68,500 and £89,500 respectively. Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare are just over £120,000 and Neath is at £131,500.
Other affordable areas include Carmarthenshire, Bridgend, Gwynedd and Conwy.
For those seeking a more rural existence, there are bargains to be had in many regions, particularly away from the ever-popular coast.
Positive economic growth
A report published by the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards in 2018 named Cardiff as one of the UK’s top five cities for business growth, in particular in respect of so-called gazelle companies which have more than doubled their revenues over a four-year period.
Population growth in the city of over 26 percent over the next 20 years is predicted, with a high proportion of younger citizens, including 75,000 students, one-third of whom are post-graduates. It is expected that this young, talented population will help Cardiff continue to thrive. Businesses in the city report that it is easy to attract and retain skilled staff and that the availability of local talent is helping to drive growth.
Employment in Wales as a whole has grown more than in any other UK region, with unemployment lower than the UK average.
Need help buying property in Wales?
With low unemployment, lower than average house prices and living costs and a great quality of life it is no surprise that this beautiful country is becoming ever more popular.
With Welsh house prices predicted to continue to rise, now is a great time to buy property in Wales. Whether it’s a cottage in the country, a relaxing seaside retreat, a townhouse for a family or an affordable bargain, Wales has the right property for everyone.
As a long-established firm of conveyancing solicitors in Wales with six local offices across South Wales, Devonalds have a good working knowledge of the area and excellent relationships with the estate agents we deal with.
We’re experienced property lawyers and are happy to answer any questions you may have about buying property in Wales. We’ve been carrying out residential conveyancing in Wales for over 30 years and are dedicated to making our clients’ transactions as smooth and efficient as possible.
To talk to one of our property team, please contact your local Devonalds office. For a quick and easy conveyancing quote, please use our free, instant conveyancing calculator. We’d be delighted to help you buy a home in Wales.