One county in Wales continues to be one of the UK’s hottest property areas
Wales is still the region with the highest average house price increase across the UK, according to the house price index released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) covering the year-on-year comparison to April 2022.
The data indicates during this 12 month period the average house price in Wales has increased by 16.2% to the record high of £211,990, a 2.2% increase since the March data. The volume of transactions decreased by 9.1% in Wales, suggesting the continuation of low stock supplies still fuelling rising house prices.
The UK average house price increased by 12.4% over the year to April 2022, which is up from the 9.7% figure reported for March 2022. The average UK house asking price was £281,000 in April 2022, which is £31,000 higher than for the same time in 2021.
The next UK region to see the highest year-on-year growth to April 2022 is Scotland, also with a 16.2% increase to an average asking price of £188,000 which is a noticeable acceleration from this nation recorded as having the slowest growth in the year to March 2002 at 8%.
England has seen a 11.9% increase to bring its average house price to £299,000 and Northern Ireland is stated to have experienced a 10.4% growth in the 12 months to April 2022. London continues to be the region with the lowest annual growth at 7.9%.
James Briggs, head of personal finance intermediary sales at specialist lender Together, says: “The housing market continues to show how unpredictable it can be, as property prices rose to 12.4% in April, despite wider economic turmoil and inflationary pressures. However, I’d expect to see the increased cost of living, leading to squeezed household finances paving the way for a more sluggish housing market this summer.
“With consumer confidence at an all-time low and mortgage rates on the rise, buyers may be more hesitant in increasing their debt and instead may shift their financial priorities towards battling rising household costs.”
But the market is hard to predict over the next six months even for property experts, with a tussle between the rising cost of living and inflation and falling wages in real-terms on one side and the lack of housing stock on the other side.
Managing director of estate agents Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, says: “We can expect to see UK property values continue to hold their own over the coming months, as the supply demand imbalance continues to negate any wider economic influence.
“For every one buyer struggling with the financial task of climbing the ladder, there are three or four with a mortgage in principle and an existing property to act as financial collateral in order to fund their ongoing purchase.
“It remains an incredibly competitive market and while we’re unlikely to see these extraordinary rates of house price growth persist in the long-term, bricks and mortar continues to provide a very sound investment.”
Whatever the next six months holds for the UK and Welsh property market one county in particular stands out as still riding the crest of a property price increase. With the Wales wide average price increase to April 2022 reported as 16.2% for this data period, Ceredigion lands a 23% rise, almost double the UK figure of 12.4%.
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The average house price in Ceredigion is now £259,724 according to the ONS data, although Monmouthshire remains the most expensive county in Wales with an average of £346,291.
Blaenau Gwent, another popular area since the Covid-19 pandemic due to the significantly lower than Welsh house price average, is close behind Ceredigion with a figure of 22.7%. The lowest increase was seen in Denbighshire, but that still experienced a 9.2% increase over the year to April 2022.
The Ceredigion coastal county has topped the list previously in January 2022 and is consistently seen within the top three to five counties of the monthly ONS house price index published figures.
1. Ceredigion: increase of 23% average price now £259,724
2. Blaenau Gwent: increase of 22.7% average price now £131,596
3. Vale of Glamorgan: increase of 20% average price now £304,037
4. Pembrokeshire: increase of 19.9% average price now £236,190
5. Merthyr Tydfil: increase of 19.6% average price now £147,341
6. Monmouthshire: increase of 17.6% average price now £346,291
7. Isle of Anglesey: increase of 17.5% average price now £237,866
8. Torfaen: increase of 17% average price now £192,358
9. Powys: increase of 16.9% average price now £238,189
10. Swansea: increase of 15.4% average price now £190,544
11. Wrexham: increase of 14.9% average price now £199,555
12. Caerphilly: increase of 14.4% average price now £175,694
13. Carmarthenshire: increase of 13.7% average price now £197,079
14. Gwynedd: increase of 13.3% average price now £204,313
15. Flintshire: increase of 12.7% average price now £207,657
16. Newport: increase of 12.6% average price now £226,869
17. Rhondda Cynon Taf: increase of 12.3% average price now £149,724
18. Cardiff: increase of 11.3% average price now £254,086
19. Neath Port Talbot: increase of 11.3% average price now £150,707
20. Conwy: increase of 11.3% average price now £204,178
21. Bridgend: increase of 10.7% average price now £193,297
22. Denbighshire: increase of 9.2% average price now £195,323
Daniel Rees from estate agents Savills is from Ceredigion and can see why it has become increasingly popular as a location to buy property. He says: “Ceredigion has a stunning coastline and idyllic countryside but people in Wales or further afield have only in recent years realised what it has to offer compared to some of the neighbouring counties.
“Improved transport connections and internet in the county mean people can both commute and work effectively from home while living in a beautiful part of Wales that offers a great quality of life.”
James Skudder from Country Living Group estate agents thinks the area is continuing to increase in popularity with buyers’ due to a package of benefits. He says: “We are seeing buyers who in large are not able to secure properties in what have traditionally been more popular areas, really widening their search parameters. The ONS figures are testament not only the unique variety of homes located here, but also the fantastic value for money for the properties on offer.
Nigel Salmon, director of Fine and Country in west Wales, specifically looking after Ceredigion, adds: “People becoming more adventurous in where they were prepared to buy and discovering the wild and wonderful area of Ceredigion where my family and I have lived for 20 years.
“Smallholdings, country houses and lovely cottages are all in abundance in the area and with people reassessing their lives during the pandemic geography was more academic for mobile buyers from around the country.”