Job industries around the world were hit when COVID-19 lockdowns first began. A year later, as countries start to reopen, there is caution about new waves and recovery of the economy. The property market, however, was on an upswing. One of the places experiencing a surge in property prices is that of Wales.
With outstanding landscapes, diverse types of property, and accessibility to bigger cities in England, cheap property in Wales have made the country famous for those wanting to move out of the city and into a more peaceful setting.
Even the biggest cities in Wales are smaller than London and would provide relief from the usual fast-paced lifestyle. Crowds are not an issue here, at least not compared to the bigger cities of England. Not only that, factors like wanting more access to nature and isolated, countryside living so one can step out without social distancing made unexpected demand for rustic properties—plenty in Wales—a real estate trend.
People are not just investing in property. They are also buying a particular kind of lifestyle.
Property prices in Wales are shooting up at an annual rate of 7.5%, faster than in the UK, but houses in this greenly-swathed scenic land are still the best options for property searchers on tighter budgets. One of the cheapest places to buy property in all of the UK is in Wales, namely in Blaenau Gwent. The most expensive place to buy property in Wales is Monmouthshire, at an average house price of £307,000.
Even some of the most expensive places in Wales are cheaper than the UK national average, which begs the question—why is property so cheap in Wales?
It would be normal to look at all the pros of living in this beautiful country and be sceptical about the property prices. There’s rich cultural history, coastal cities, proximity to London and other major cities without compromising beautiful landscapes. For the average British housebuyer, Wales would be the closest exotic yet homely option when looking for new places to live.
In the current scenario, with most looking for a residence that can be both home and office, it’s no doubt that this ecologically diverse region, rolling in valleys, hills, and coastal cities, is becoming a popular real estate trend. Keep reading to find out more about what factors contribute to the low-cost property market in Wales.
Places like Blaenau, Trawsfynydd, and Merthyr Tydfil were once industrial towns. Merthyr Tydfil, especially, was a vital part of the Welsh Industrial Revolution and one of the coal mining strongholds. Naturally, once the pits were shut down, with no employment opportunities and a dipping economy, house prices have also gone down. These are only a handful of the many former industrial towns in Wales, many of which are slowly but steadily getting better financially thanks to significant investments. Property here, however, is essentially cheaper than the national average.
Many of the older miners’ cottages belong to villages that no longer see the hustle and bustle of yesteryears. With owners not seeing any reason to maintain them, many of the rustic, small town and village properties are available at low prices. Renovation and restoration are necessary, though, and these derelict properties have huge potential, only if there’s a taker who can bring these homes back to life. Due to being abandoned for so long, grade II listed farmhouses with Snowdonia views are in ‘at risk’ registers and thus ready to be bought at unbelievably low prices. Period homes cost around £1.8 million in Wales, while the same property type affects would be double in England.
The cheapest place to buy property right now in Wales is the town of Fairbourne. With a little over 1,000 residents spread out over less than 500 homes, this seaside village falls under ‘managed retreat’ due to rising sea levels. By 2050, the government will completely stall maintaining the sea defences and estimate a complete evacuation by 2062. While this is an exceptional case, it is an example of how climate change is sure to affect property rates, especially in coastal areas.
Wales is known for its high property taxes, which is why recommendations of its rental prospects might be confusing to those wanting a new home. However, to property watchers, the future of work from home doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon, making Wales currently the property market offering the best affordability ratio.
I’m Kunzes and I’m a freelance writer and copy editor based in India. I have an academic background in Literature and Creative Writing. In my free time you’ll catch me reading and reviewing books for my bookstagram and listening to true crime podcasts.