'Unprecedented levels of interest' in Welsh housing market as prices see biggest rise in 16 years

Some properties are exchanging within 48 hours of receiving offers, according to estate agents. Credit: PA Images

The Welsh housing market is seeing "unprecedented levels of interest" with some properties exchanging with 48 hours of receiving offers, according to estate agents.

It comes as figures show average house prices have risen by more than 13% since last June, up to £183,728.

It marks the strongest growth in Wales since 2005.

Estate agents said that Wales has become a sought-after location with people having more flexibility around where they work.

Kate Eales, head of regional agency at Strutt & Parker, said: "The Welsh market has seen unprecedented levels of interest, both on the coast and inland.

"We have a hotlist of buyers waiting to see property come to the market, with some properties exchanging within 48 hours of receiving offers, and others selling for 25% above guide price."

According to an index by Nationwide Building Society, the average house price in June was £245,432 across the UK.

Chief economist Robert Gardner said that while mortgage rates remain close to all-time lows, house prices are close to a "record high relative to average incomes".

"This is important because it makes it even harder for prospective first-time buyers to raise a deposit," he explained.

"For example, a 10% deposit is over 50% of a typical first-time buyer's income.

"A potential buyer earning the average wage and saving 15% of take-home pay would now take five years to raise a 10% deposit."

The average house prices across the UK

Here are average house prices in the second quarter of this year and the annual growth, according to Nationwide Building Society:

  • Northern Ireland, £163,576, 14.0%

  • Wales, £183,728, 13.4%

  • Yorkshire and the Humber, £183,982, 13.0%

  • East Midlands, £210,753, 12.2%

  • West Midlands, £218,334, 12.2%

  • North East England, £144,014, 11.2%

  • Outer South East England, £313,815, 10.9%

  • North West England, £188,730, 10.9%

  • South West England, £277,603, 10.4%

  • East Anglia, £253,107, 9.7%

  • Outer Metropolitan, £394,295, 8.2%

  • London, £509,935, 7.3%

  • Scotland, £165,745, 7.1%

Credit: PA Images

The figures come as growing demand for second homes in north Wales and a sharp rise in house prices are pricing local people out of rural communities, according to campaigners.

Councillor Rhys Tudur, chair of Nefyn Town Council, said there was now a risk that communities could lose their identity.

He said: "What we've seen now is a tsunami of second home purchases and if we're not careful the communities will be swept away.

"The Governments have to act decisively and regulate second homes properly.

"What we see nowadays is our terraced housing being bought as Airbnbs and now we're excluded from whole communities which is totally heartbreaking, it changes the culture and heritage, it changes the very identity of villages."

In response the Welsh Government said it was prioritising the issue in its recently-published Programme for Government.

A spokesperson said: "A new Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan is one of the main priorities of our Programme for Government, published last week.

"We will be working across Government and with stakeholders in developing the plan."