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Wales’ housing crisis: Prices balloon at fastest rate in 10 years, outstripping rest of the UK

29 Jun 2021 4 minutes Read
Aberdaron picture by John Harding (CC BY-SA 2.0).

House price growth has hit a 10 year high in Wales, and is the highest across the UK, amid increasing concern that house prices are rising beyond the reach of people living in communities.

House prices in Wales grew 7.1% in the year between May 2020 and May 2021, according to Zoopla’s House Price Index Report. That compares with only 2.2% in London, which usually has the most overheated property market, and an average of 4.7% across the UK.

Zoopla said that a ‘search for space’ among homebuyers, as well as increased numbers of buyers “making lifestyle changes”, was driving the growth. A rise in home working, holidaying in the UK and people fleeing cities during the pandemic is thought to be responsible.

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla, said that the stamp duty holiday – extended by the Welsh Government until the end of June – had also played a part.

“The stamp duty holiday boosted demand in the housing market,” she said. “However, buyer demand remains elevated despite the initial holiday ending – signalling that the once-in-a-generation ‘reassessment of home’ has further to run this year.

“The total stock of homes for sale remains below historical norms, and this will underpin pricing amid higher demand. At the same time, lower stock availability may also constrain potential activity, especially for buyers looking for family houses.

“Even so, we forecast that this year will be one of the busiest for the housing market since the global financial crisis.”

‘Lot of activity’

The huge house price growth in Wales comes at a time when the Welsh Government has come under increasing pressure to act to ensure that people can afford prices in their own communities.

Language campaigners have been calling of the Welsh Government to act to solve the housing crisis in Wales which means that people are often not able to buy homes in their own communities.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith intend to hold a ‘Wales is Not for Sale’ rally held at Tryweryn Dam, on Saturday 10th July where they will be challenging the next Welsh Government to introduce a Property Act as a priority.

Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Communities Group, Elin Hywel, said last month that “without such national intervention on the part of the people of Wales, there is no way we can tackle this crisis.”

Mark Drakeford said earlier this month that his government will present “practical proposals” to tackle the second homes crisis in Wales before the end of the month.

“Progress is definitely being made inside the Welsh Government to come forward with a package of proposals,” he told Sunday Supplement at the beginning on June.

“I expect the Cabinet to have a paper before the end of this month drawing together all those ideas and giving us some practical proposals to consider.

“Some listeners will know that an important report on this whole issue was published in March by Dr. Simon Brooks in Swansea University.

“We hope to respond to that report this month as well, and make a series of recommendations aimed at not just the Welsh Government but local authorities as well.

“So there’s a lot of activity going on in this area. What I said in my first speech in the Senedd was nobody has a monopoly of ideas or wisdom on this topic, and when we come forward with our proposals we’ll want to discuss them with others.

“And see if there are any other ideas that we could add to that repertoire, to strengthen the protections that are available in those local communities where, if we’re not careful, people who were born, brought up, and want to make their futures in those parts of Wales, simply find that that’s not possible for them.”

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Quornby
Quornby
24 days ago

“Practical proposals”? I don’t think so, not with the gutter English press waiting to play the race card. It would take more gumption than Labour have shown in my (long) lifetime.

Charles Evans
Charles Evans
24 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

Would make a change from the gutter Welsh press playing the race card, I suppose…

R W
R W
24 days ago

The irresponsible stamp duty holiday introduced by Drakeford’s government is partly responsible for the over-inflated property price increases we are witnessing. Not the actions of a government that is supposed to care about the future of our country.

AnthonyA Coslett
AnthonyA Coslett
23 days ago

‘A change of life style’ my ar@*! It’s about getting away from towns and cities in England where CV19/Variants one and two are rife. Plus the realisation that working from home creates a totally different life experience where the individual can take more control over daily life. However, the realities are hellish winter weather in some places and a rural economy that means fronting sheep or cattle or tractors and other heavy farm machinery on the narrow roads between villages which have one Swyddfa Bost per village, if you are lucky, that might also be the village store. Hospitals will… Read more »

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
23 days ago

Cytuno yn llwyr. Crwban lle ma’ eisiau sgwarnog go iawn!

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
23 days ago

Paham yr ymateb negyddol i’m sylwadau? Rhywun heb asgwrn cefn i rhoi ei enw/henw?
Why the negative response to my comment? A spinless contributer who wants to remain nameless? Could it be because my comment is written in Welsh?

Oldskool
Oldskool
23 days ago

As someone who has been wanting to and trying to buy a house in Wales for the last 5 years, I find it very unwelcoming the amount of anti-english hate I see in such posts. I for one, would actually like to learn and speak Welsh once I’ve moved (if I do) and would like to be a valued member of the community. I do understand why people say what they say, but I’d be careful about what you write as Wales relys heavily on tourism for the economy, constantly reading posts with hatred against the English may put people… Read more »

Danny Joseph
Danny Joseph
22 days ago
Reply to  Oldskool

Does no-one ask why the locals want to sell up and move out. All of the reasons above, poor employment opportunities, poor infrastructure, no local shops,difficult access to health care etc. For every buyer there is a seller. Simon Brooks is clear that there is no evidence that second home owners are driving the prices

Oldskool
Oldskool
22 days ago
Reply to  Danny Joseph

Yes that’s true, I’m not saying that second homes are the sole reason for house price rises, all I meant is they are attributing to the house shortage. And yes I’m with you on why alot of Welsh people move out of Wales etc, all I was trying to get at if they brought a law in that locals get first dibs on any properties forsale before any outsiders did, then perhaps that might help locals remain local if they wished to.

joy bishop
joy bishop
22 days ago

The easist way to deal with this is to place a limit on the profit made by sellers. There are 2 sides to this argument

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