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House price rise patchy as sales go up

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

There is a big fluctuation in the rise of house prices across South Wales.

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HOUSE prices are on the up in many parts of South West Wales, but there's a big fluctuation in by how much.

But while the rises differ across the Swansea Bay area, the news that prices are increasing in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot has been welcomed by experts.

Nigel Jones, director of Swansea estate agency, John Francis, said the increase in property sales was good news for the city.

He said: "The increase in prices recorded in the year to March is another sign that the housing market is continuing to improve. However, at John Francis we are still yet to see a significant spike in the value of properties in South West Wales.

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"Price indices like these often take a nationwide view of the situation, and do not necessarily reflect the variation seen across different regions. Despite this, the market in the area is undoubtedly continuing to gain momentum.

"We have seen a definite increase in activity in the Swansea area over the last 12 months, which is very positive.

"Our property sales are up on our 2013 levels, and buyers are now securing sales at much closer to their asking prices, and in less time than has been the case in recent years.

"This is all very positive news for the area, and a trend that I hope will continue."

The average property value for Mumbles is currently £240,689, which has seen an increase of 8.96 per cent in one year.

There has been a smaller increase in places such as Cimla in Neath, which has seen an increase of 3.95 per cent in a year.

Ammanford has also seen a relatively low increase, of 4.78 per cent. And Clydach Road in Ynystawe has seen an increase of 5.38 per cent during the past year.

Average house prices in Swansea have risen 8.7 per cent, but the increase is smaller in Neath Port Talbot, with a 2.5 per cent increase.

However, prices in Carmarthenshire have decreased by an average of 6.6 per cent, and there was also a fall in the Upper Swansea Valley, which showed a drop of 1.8 per cent.

The average price of a home in Wales stands at £164,000 after a near-five per cent rise in the year to March, according to the ONS data.

House prices have also seen a big increase in Gower. The average property for Langland is currently £390,093, which is an increase of 8.95 per cent and there has also been an increase of 8.95 per cent for property in Rhossili over the past year.

Chris Hope, senior partner at estate agents Dawsons, said demand for affordable housing in Gower was high.

But builders, he said, faced challenges due to the high cost of land — especially with planning consent — and requirements to build energy efficient homes meeting Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

"Most developers would look to build detached housing to maximise the gross development value, and in doing so the number of smaller terrace or semi-detached units are becoming a rarity," said Mr Hope.

"Volume developers tend to look for sites which will allow for 40 to 50 units before it becomes viable."

Experts say a key factor to the price increases has been the Help To Buy scheme, designed to kick-start the market. This has assisted eligible buyers to get on the property ladder, some for the first time, by guaranteeing an affordable mortgage offer that requires only a five per cent deposit."

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  • tawse57  |  May 22 2014, 10:25AM

    Just another pump and dump bubble by the banks - they lure in and hook people with talk of never-ending rising prices and then, once hooked with a 20 year mortgage, they pump up the mortgage rates and, 12 or 18 months later, you see loads of repos as people are unable to pay their mortgages. Lloyds bank has now decided to limit mortgages to 4 times salary over 500K which is going to have a HUGE knock-on affect right through the housing market from top to bottom. If they will not lend more than 4 times salary on a house currently priced over 500K it will affect houses from 50K to 2 million pounds and higher. Reading through the financial press this morning it looks likely that other banks are about to follow the lead by Lloyds and also limit mortgages to 4 times salary. That means to buy a 500K house on Gower a couple has to be bringing in 125,000 pounds per year - how many couples in Swansea earn that? Very few. So people currently asking above 500K will soon find that they can only sell to cash rich buyers and will be forced to drop their asking prices to realistic multiple of salaries... and this will have a knock-on affect pushing DOWN all the prices of houses in the area. The big worry now is for all those people who have bought with mortgages on 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and higher multiple of their salaries - they may find it impossible to remortgage in the years ahead and possibly no bank will lend more than 4 times salary on a mortage on their property going forward. Those people on such high multiple of salary mortages are probably up the creek without a paddle now but proably will not realise it for many months to come.

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