Each week, we visit a different part of the country to discover what is happening in their local property market. This week, we take a close look at Cardiff.
The UK housing market has witnessed widespread recovery, with home prices rising across most parts of the country over the past couple of years, supported by a strengthening domestic economy, record-low borrowing rates, rising employment levels and wage growth that is outstripping inflation, not to mention housing initiatives such as Help to Buy Wales.
But despite general growth, residential property prices in Wales currently remain below the 2007 peak, with the latest Land Registry data revealing that the average price of a home in the country rose by 0.9% year-on-year to £118,899.
Nevertheless, many people living in Wales expect to see home prices rise as we head into a new year, with 86% of homeowners recently surveyed anticipating an increase in Welsh property values over the coming six months.
Property price gains in Wales is widely expected to be led by Cardiff, which is the most expensive place in Wales to buy a house, with homes in the city selling for an average of around £230,000, according to Nationwide.
“It’s no surprise that Cardiff is the most expensive place to buy in Wales,” says Helen Davies, head of sales at estate agency Moginie James. “Cardiff is a growing, capital city and has all the amenities and appeal that other major cities across the UK offers.”
With a wide selection of leisure facilities, shops, restaurants, not to mention some of Wales’s finest scenery, and with excellent links to beaches and the countryside, there are plenty of attractions for prospective homebuyers, but it is the major investment and array of large-scale employers moving into the Welsh capital that is driving growth.
“The city has also seen significant investment and a lot of major employers move into the area in recent years and now houses a number of high-profile blue-chip companies, attracting more white-collar professionals into Cardiff and the surrounding areas,” James adds.
After years of recession confidence is returning to Cardiff, with certain areas within the city commanding higher prices, mainly due to popularity and a lack of homes in relation to demand.
“We’re seeing a whole range of buyers in Cardiff,” said Billie Oaten, sales director for Bellway Wales. “Investors are back but they are single investors rather than the bulk buyers we saw before the crash. We also have a lot of owner-occupiers and first-time buyers are purchasing, largely thanks to Help To Buy Wales.”
The successful Help to Buy Wales initiate allows eligible purchasers to buy new build homes up to the value of £300,000 with assistance from the Welsh government in the form of a shared equity loan.
If people can buy, residential property developers will build.
New homes in Cardiff
A £2bn ‘garden city’ project led by Redrow Homes is planned on 900 acres of land in the north-west of Cardiff which could see up to 7,000 new homes built over the next 20 years, while plans to build 1,500 more new residential properties in Cardiff - sites yet to be confirmed - will soon be considered by senior councillors at Cardiff Council.
Redrow is well established in the Welsh capital, with a few homes left for sale at a few sites. In sought-after Lisvane, just off the M4 in the north of the city, there’s a last chance to buy at Chapel Mead, with a single, substantial four-bedroom house left at £434,995 (029 2148 0680). Close by, the St Denys Gate development also has a couple of large five-bedroom homes available from £739,995 (029 2148 2664).
To the north-east of the city, in St Mellons, there’s a selection of family homes priced from £385,000 at Parc Tyn Y Gollen, from David Wilson Homes. Find out more on 029 2148 3291.
Closer to the city centre, there’s high-quality apartment living at Cathedral House. Acorn Cardiff’s scheme of two-bedroom flats and a spectacular penthouse are set in a conservation area in fashionable Pontcanna. Prices range from £250,000 to £600,000.
More than 100 homes are set to be built in Cardiff's Creative Quarter at Porth Teigr, as part of the first phase of residential development, which was recently approved. The scheme will incorporate two- to four-bedroom houses as well as two- and three-bedroom apartments.
Meanwhile, Bellway Wales is currently developing Cardiff Pointe in Cardiff Bay, a communal mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments and three to five-bedroom family homes, with prices starting from £205,000.
“Cardiff Pointe appeals to downsizers and young professionals attracted by the contemporary design, convenience of modern living, the views of the water and proximity to the city centre,” said Caroline Vanner, head of Savills’ new homes team in Cardiff.
Take a look at this list of new homes in Cardiff