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  1. Megan Boot

Principality results positive news for first-time buyers

There are encouraging signs tonight that first-time buyers are getting a bigger slice of the housing market.

Today Wales' largest building society, the Principality, announced that they lent more than a billion pounds in mortgages last year.

That money has helped thousands of people get onto the property ladder - and in Wales, first-time buyers were getting a bigger share than ever before.

Principality: 10.7% increase in mortgage lending

The building society Principality have announced an increase in mortgage lending of 10.7% in the last year.

First-time buyer lending has also increased, with the society helping over 1,800 first-time buyers across the UK onto the property ladder.

Principality has also grown its Welsh first-time buyer market share to a record high of 12%.

"We have...continued to support the regional economy, opening our 53rd branch on Cwmbran high street, creating a further 58 jobs across the Group and increasing residential lending in Wales by 42%."

– Graeme Yorston, Principality Group Chief Executive


Wales' biggest building society to release annual results

The figures for 2013 are expected to be good due to an increase in first time buyers. Credit: PA

The Principality, Wales' biggest building society, will announce its annual results for 2013 later this morning.

The figures are expected to be a good indicator for the Welsh economy, underlying a recovery in the housing market.

It's thought last year's positive figures are a result of more first time buyers getting on to the property ladder in Wales.

House building in Wales slowed down in 2013

It is hoped the Welsh Government's 'help to buy' scheme will boost the market. Credit: PA

House building in Wales slowed down in the last three months of 2013, according to the latest economic survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Following the launch of the Welsh Government's 'help to buy' scheme, it is hoped that the housing market will be revitalised, but the FMB say more needs to be done to increase supply.

RICS: 'Pleasing' figures for construction in Wales

Owain Llywelyn, Welsh spokesperson for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors told ITV Cymru that today's figures are 'pleasing' and it shows there is an increased confidence in the construction industry across the UK.

He added Wales is beginning to witness an upsurge in this sector and the house building specifically has helped drive the recovery.

Revival of house building across Wales

Employment levels are also predicted to rise in the construction industry in 2014. Credit: PA

House building across Wales continued its revival towards the end of last year with the private sector leading the way, according to the latest survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Predictions for employment levels were also on the rise with 79% more chartered surveyors in Wales expecting workloads to increase rather than decrease this year.

However, the survey also revealed that there are some shortages in skills and materials, despite the recovery in the construction industry.

Neil Brierley, Chair of RICS Wales said:

_“With the Welsh economy continuing to improve in recent months, it is very welcome news that the construction industry has followed suit and activity is on the rise across the region. _

"More homes are being built, investment in infrastructure is continuing and Wales is beginning to benefit from this more positive picture."

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