Average house prices in Wales drop annually for first time since 2013

Average house prices in Wales drop annually for first time since 2013
Shekina Tuahene
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Shekina Tuahene

The average house price in Wales has fallen to £239,378, a contraction of 2.6 per cent year-on-year and the first annual drop since 2013.

According to Principality Building Society, it is the third consecutive quarterly fall this year and a quarterly drop of 1.1%.

The report said the average house price is almost £10,000 down from the peak of around £249,000 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The mutual continued that compared to a year earlier property price in 18 out of the 22 local authorities had fallen, with Denbighshire experiencing the biggest annual fall of 15.9%, followed by Pembrokeshire with a drop of 11.6% and Powys, down 10.5%.

The report added that there were just under 100,00 transactions in Wales in Q3, which is up on the two prior quarters but 20% down on the same period last year.

Principality said the “slower nature of activity” reflected the higher interest rates over the past year.

It continued that the decline had been across all property types, with sales of detached property types down 28% than a year ago. Flat sales are only 8% lower than a year earlier.

Looking at price, different property types are currently between 1% and 4% below their respective levels a year previously although semi-detached is more resilient at 1% down year-on-year,

Shaun Middleton, head of distribution at Principality Building Society, said: “The downward trend in house prices has continued into the third quarter. Economic pressures over recent months, paired with higher interest rates than we’ve become used to, means that affordability remains a problem for many buyers.

“This has put pressure on the housing market, which remains subdued, when compared to recent years when record average prices across Wales were seen.

“The picture across Wales shows us that more local authorities have been reporting price decreases rather than increases, translating into year-on-year falling house prices. This is a clear indication of the broad-based nature of the market’s retreat over recent months.”

Middleton added that the Bank of England’s decision to leave the base rate unchanged at 5.25% has “prompted better mortgage deals in recent weeks”, but affordability in Wales “remains stretched and the overall benefit for consumer confidence may be limited by a growing awareness that interest rates look set to remain higher for longer”.