Welsh minister criticises ‘grim’ property article that says English speaking parts of west Wales are ‘more desirable’
A Welsh Government minister has criticised a property article in the Financial Times that describes Ceredigion as “less discovered” and suggests that English-speaking parts of the west of Wales are considered “more desirable”.
Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters said that the article was “grim”, saying that it was effectively arguing that Wales was “cheaper than Devon and Cornwall” and that some parts had “less of that Welsh business”.
The article in the Financial Times titled ‘The Sales in Wales’ says that demand for homes is “accelerating” in the west of Wales.
“With its miles of pristine beaches and ruggedly dramatic national park coastline, Pembrokeshire has been popular with second-home owners from England and Wales for decades, with many seeing the area as a cheaper and less crowded alternative to Cornish holiday hotspots,” the article says.
The article notes that “prices tend to be higher in the south” of Pembrokeshire as the “area known as ‘Little England beyond Wales’, below the Landsker Line that crosses south-west Wales, dividing the predominantly Welsh and English-speaking parts, is often considered more desirable by English buyers”.
It quotes a couple who moved from Rugby and who said that having found the property market in Pembrokeshire to be “too frenzied” they “ended up buying over the border in Ceredigion, where the scenery is similar […] but it feels less discovered”.
New figures published by Halifax last week showed that Wales bore the brunt of skyrocketing house prices in 2021, raising fears that many people would be priced out of their own communities.
Prices in Wales shot up by 14.5 per cent compared with 2020 to an average of £205,579, by far the biggest rise of any nation or region within the UK.
In comparison, London had the weakest annual price growth of all regions at 1.2 per cent. Across the UK, house prices rose by 9.8 per cent.
The news comes as Cymdeithas yr Iaith plan a rally will take place in Aberystwyth on 19 February to protest the housing crisis.
The Nid yw Cymru ar Werth (Wales is not for Sale) rally will be held on the 60th anniversary of the broadcasting of the ‘Tynged yr Iaith’ (Fate of the Language) lecture by academic and political activist Saunders Lewis.
The rally will start on the Trefechan bridge in the town, the site of Cymdeithas’ first-ever protest in 1963, and end at the offices of the Welsh Government.
Speakers will include Mabli Siriol the current chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith and singer, Bryn Fôn.
One of the organisers of the rally, Osian Jones, said: “It has been clear that recent pressure by the people of Wales for justice in the housing market and for measures to secure the right to live locally has had a significant impact on the government.”