Concern as houses in rural west of Wales see double digit price rises over last year
House prices in rural west Wales have risen by double digits over the past year, leading to concerns that more will be frozen out of living in their own communities.
The figures released from Principality Building Society’s Wales House Price Index demonstrate the rise and fall in house prices in each of the 22 local authorities in Wales.
Over the last year, house prices in Carmarthenshire have risen 14.2%, Ceredigion 10%, Gwynedd 10.3% and Anglesey 14.6%.
The Principality Building Society said the prices reflected a Covid-induced “race for space” as city dwellers from Wales or England looked to move to more rural areas.
Across Wales, annual house price inflation climbed to 10.1%, the first double-digit percentage increase since 2005. Swansea saw the steepest price rises at 16.1%, while Monmouthshire only saw a 2.9% rise.
“Average house prices in Wales continue to set new records as they reached £212,751, with annual house price inflation climbing to 10.1% in Q1, the first double-digit percentage increase since 2005,” the Principality report said.
“Lockdown-inspired changes in housing demand and government policy interventions around Land Transaction Tax (LTT) have boosted prices and activity, with sales up by 40% on the same period last year.
“The prices of detached, semi-detached and terraced homes are 10% or more above year-earlier levels.”
Tom Denman, Chief Financial Officer at Principality Building Society, said that the bounce-back of the housing market during the pandemic had been “stronger than some had anticipated”.
“If that momentum is maintained, it may be that the strong housing market recovery will continue through the rest of the year and into 2022,” he said.
Yesterday the new Minister for Education and the Language promised that the Government will tackle the housing crisis in the most Welsh-speaking areas.
Jeremy Miles said that action was needed “to ensure that we have Welsh-speaking communities that thrive in the future and that people can afford to live in their communities”.
On Radio Cymru’s Dewi Llwyd radio programme, he confirmed that the Government was considering a report by academic Simon Brooks on the problem of second homes.
He described it as a “complex problem”, with several different factors affecting each other – it would be necessary to look at the “complete picture” to find solutions, he said.
The problem is heightened by the pandemic as thousands of people move from the cities to live or buy holiday homes – one of the most controversial examples is a cottage in Uwchmynydd near Ynys Enlli, which is on sale at auction with a guide price of £500,000.
Language campaigners have announced a protest at Tryweryn dam in July calling for the government to act on the housing market forces they say are undermining communities across Wales.
Covid-19 restrictions permitting, hundreds of Cymdeithas yr Iaith protestors will stand along the 600-meter dam near Bala.
The demonstration on 10th July is set to be filmed by drone and will be broadcast live on social media. Ahead of this symbolic act, the crowd will be addressed by Dafydd Iwan and Delyth Jewell.