First-time Buyers

Welsh property prices tick upwards

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Average property prices in Wales have picked up this year, gaining

According to the LSL Property Service/Acadametrics index, typical values are however still £458 lower than they were in February 2012, and equivalent to December 2010 levels – a 3.5% fall over three years.

The index reveals that older wealthier buyers are dominating activity in the Welsh housing market, while many first-time buyers remain frozen out, still struggling to raise the required deposits.

Challenges in the Welsh economy are having an impact, with a combination of high inflation, weak salary growth and lack of private sector investment depressing activity, compounded by public sector cuts which are felt particularly keen in Wales given that a disproportionately large section of the workforce is employed by the State.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, which is part of LSL, said:

“Thankfully 2013 is set to be the best year for the housing market since 2007…mortgage rates are lower and there is a better range of mortgage deals compared to a year ago.”

Dr Peter Williams, housing market specialist and Chairman of Acadametrics, added:

“Anecdotally, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor (RICS) members across Wales report varying experience – from optimism in Cardiff to much less enthusiasm in the North. This does reflect our view of a far from uniform market in the Principality, as we have reported in the past. There is no question though that the weather will have had a significant effect on house sales in the early part of the year and this again is reflected in the RICS members’ views.

“It is hard to draw any firm conclusions about prices from the present market form. The givens are that the economy is sluggish, unemployment remains a worry and the climate hasn’t helped. There appears to be a shortage of affordable property for FTBs and the lending situation has improved. To what extent will the market in Wales be affected by the more positive momentum in the UK as a whole?”