Wales' average house price hits a record high

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Latest ONS figures show that despite a monthly fall in UK house prices, Wales as a region continues its house price rising trend

The latest house price figures released from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that Wales is still the UK region with the highest annual increase in house prices.

Although the data for the UK average house price increased by 10.2% over the year from October 2020 to October 2021, this is down from the 12.3% year-on-year figure reported in September 2021.

The UK as a whole might have seen a slight drop in the monthly price change from September 2021 to October 2021, but these latest figures show that in Wales the monthly price change was up by 2.6%.

The figures also show the annual price change - a year-on-year comparison - and in Wales it stood at 15.5% for the time period October 2020 to October 2021.

This new data confirms that Wales is still the region with the highest house price increases in the UK over the year in question, with Scotland at 11.3%, Northern Ireland at 10.7% and England at 9.8%.

A breakdown of the Wales house price increases for the month September 2021 to October 2021 shows a slight shift in geography to find the Welsh hotspots, with more noticeable increases in the valleys areas. 

Whereas figures from previous months saw counties in west Wales and Vale of Glamorgan consistently appearing at the top of the list for highest price increases, this month's ONS figures show three valleys counties appearing within the top six of the 22 Welsh counties.

The county borough of Merthyr Tydfil tops the latest list of house price increases with a noticeable rise of 24.8% that generates an average price now of £138,102. 

Neighbouring valleys region Blaenau Gwent county borough comes a very close second with an increase of 23.2% and a new average price of £121,739. 

Vale of Glamorgan still appears in the top three with an increase of 20.0% that makes the average price now resting at £285,325.

Paul Fosh, owner of Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions which sells a full range of properties throughout Wales and the south Wales valleys, said: "These ONS figures confirm what we are experiencing in our virtual sale room.

"We are experiencing situations where purchasers are desperate to get their hands on property at almost any price, which naturally pushes up prices quite considerably.

"People and investors see property as a good place for their money, especially those that find that they have 'spare' cash as a result of various pandemic related loans and grants.

"Rather than keep perhaps £50,000 doing nothing in a bank they are making a decision to put that money to work and buy a house, perhaps a terraced property in the south Wales valleys, and do it up for rental or resale. They see this as a better and safer bet and return on their investment."

Paul Fosh continues: "I can't see the demand for property or prices easing at all with owner occupiers looking to snap up properties in Newport, Cardiff and Swansea and buy to let investors continuing to target well-priced property in the south Wales valleys."

Looking elsewhere in Wales, the latest figures reveal that the west Wales county that has seen the largest monthly increase is Ceredigion, appearing in the fourth spot with an increase of 19.0% to make the average price in the area now £232,812.

Most expensive areas of Wales

Arguably the most significant statistic to come out of the latest ONS figures is the record-breaking new average price of a property in Wales of £203,224.

This is an increase from the average price of £196,216 reported by the ONS in November 2021 and pertaining to the month of September 2021.

The latest available data from the ONS reveals the most expensive area to purchase a property in October 2021 was Monmouthshire, where the average price was £325,000.

In contrast, the cheapest area to purchase a property was Blaenau Gwent, where the average cost was £122,000.

When looking at these figures ,the ONS advise a level of caution, saying: "Because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on both the number and supply of housing transactions, we might see larger revisions to the published House Price Index (HPI) estimates than usual.

"There may be increased volatility in this month's estimates, particularly at the lower geographical levels where transaction volumes are smaller. We are looking at options to improve this, including working with data suppliers.

"In particular, HM Land Registry has been increasing the level of automation in the way they process applications. As a result of this process, initial data numbers may be lower than pre-coronavirus pandemic transaction volumes; however, in the medium to long term, this will lead to higher volumes being processed.

"The total number of processed transactions feeding into this month's release (including those from previous months, which are incorporated in line with our revisions policy) is the highest number since before the coronavirus pandemic started.

"While this indicates an improvement to the quality of the UK HPI estimates going forward, it may also result in revisions to previous months that are higher than usual, as more transactions are now available in our calculations."


Story by Joanne Ridout via WalesOnline. Click here to read the full story

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