House prices hit record high in August – with the biggest rise in Wales
House prices hit a record high across the UK in August, with the biggest price rises in Wales and the smallest in London.
Prices rose by 11.6pc in Wales year-on-year, while Greater London was the slowest grower with an annual increase of just 1.3pc.
The figures will fuel new fears that housing in Welsh communities are out of reach of the people living in those areas.
Halifax Managing Director Russell Galley suggested that the growth outside of London had been fuelled by the pandemic and prices were unlikely to fall.
“We believe structural factors have driven record levels of buyer activity – such as the demand for more space amid greater home working,” he said.
“These trends look set to persist and the price gains made since the start of the pandemic are unlikely to be reversed once the remaining tax break comes to an end later this month.
“Moreover, the macroeconomic environment is becoming increasingly positive, with job vacancies at a record high and consumer confidence returning to pre-pandemic levels.
“Coupled with a supply of properties for sale that looks increasingly tight, and barring any reimposition of lockdown measures or a significant increase in unemployment as job support schemes are unwound later this year, these factors should continue to support prices in the near-term.”
In July the Welsh Government announced that it would consult and develop a pilot in order to tackle the effects of high house prices on communities and the Welsh language.
Minister Julie James said that the continuing rise of house prices meant that people, especially younger generations, could no longer afford to live in the communities they had grown up in.
“A high concentration of second homes or holiday lets can have a very detrimental impact on small communities, and in some areas could compromise the Welsh language being spoken at a community level,” she said.
“We have already taken strides on some of these issues – last year we became the only nation in the UK to give local authorities the power to introduce a 100% council tax levy on second homes.
“But the urgency and gravity of this situation calls for further intervention, which means real and ambitious actions are delivered at pace, to inject fairness back into the housing system.”#
You can contribute to the consultation here.