Welsh house prices still surging at fastest rate in UK despite promised slowdown, latest data reveals
Welsh house prices are still growing at the fastest rate in the UK despite property experts warning of an imminent slowdown due to the end of the pandemic and stringing inflation and fuel bills.
Prices in Wales have grown 2.7% over the last month, and 14.5% in the last year, the new figures from property listing site Rightmove revealed. Prices in Wales are now at an all-time high of £252,736.
Despite predictions of a slow down in house prices, the last three months had seen the biggest jump ever across the UK, Rightmove said.
Rightmove said 53 per cent of properties sold for more than the asking price in April, which was the highest proportion ever recorded.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data said: “While growing affordability constraints mean that this momentum is not sustainable for the longer term, the high demand from a large number of buyers chasing too few properties for sale has led to a spring price frenzy, a hat-trick of record price months, and the largest price increase for a three-month period Rightmove has ever recorded.”
“There are some early signs of an easing off from the frenetic pace of price rises, and buyer enquiries to agents are down by 16 per cent on last year’s stamp-duty frenzy.
“However, incredibly, buyer enquiries are still 65 per cent above the more normal market of 2019 and the number of sales agreed is up 21 per cent.”
The huge rise in house prices comes as campaigners call for the Welsh Government to do more to control surging house prices in Wales, with a rally held in Aberystwyth lin February attended by 1,200 people.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith who organised the protest said that they recognize that the plans set out by the Welsh Government some of their concerns, but also called for a Property Act that would provide a home for everyone and strengthen communities and the Welsh language in all parts of the country.
“Following pressure from people from all over Wales, the Government launched two consultations, one on creating a new use class and the other on the Government’s Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan,” Mabli Siriol Jones, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said at the rally.
“Pressure has had an effect, and today’s intention is to keep the pressure. We need an effective Property Act that will take the housing and planning system out of the free market and put it under the democratic control of our communities.
“We held the rally today, on the 60th anniversary of the broadcast of Tynged yr Iaith, a lecture which inspired the founding of Cymdeithas yr Iaith later that year. We have won several campaigns since then, thanks to the work of ordinary people, and we are confident that we will win this fight as well. ”
In February the Welsh Government announced that the maximum tax hike on second homes is set to be raised to 300% in an attempt to cool the housing market.
The move is to tackle the negative impact vacant houses, holiday lets and soaring property prices are having on local communities.
It is part of a series of measures set out in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Councils across Wales will be able set the premium at any level up to the maximum, from April 2023.
The maximum premium councils can charge at the moment is 100%, which means the new measure could lead to a possible tax rise of 200%.
It will be possible to apply different rates for second homes and long-term empty dwellings.
Climate change minister Julie James said: “We want people to be able to live and work in their local communities, but we know rising house prices are putting them out of reach of many people, exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis we are facing.
“There is no easy answer or quick-fix solution. This is a complex problem that requires a wide range of actions.
“We continue to carefully consider further measures that could be introduced, and these changes are the latest steps we are taking to increase the availability of homes and ensure a fair contribution is made.”
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