Thinking Of Moving To Wales Because Of Coronavirus? You’re Not The Only One.

Written by Myles Hemingway

Myles is our self-confessed ‘word nerd’ and property geek. You’ll find him mythbusting everything from mortgages to maisonettes, as well as giving you our spin on the latest property news and industry trends.

What's attracting buyers to Wales post lockdown? Is living in Wales now the 'in' thing?

Despite Lockdown bringing the housing market to a temporary standstill, the past few weeks have seen a significant spike in people selling their house quickly and moving to Wales.

A move which at first glance is a rather puzzling prospect, especially when you consider that so far this year sales in the Welsh property market were down almost 50% on 2019, despite new instructions being up 15% across the border in England (TwentyCi).

The trend came to light soon after the Welsh property market reopened on June 22nd, 2020 and has many Welsh agents on course to BREAK their sales record for June!

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But why is moving to Wales suddenly so popular?

Lockdown has been an eye opener, particularly for ‘city folk’. It’s allowed many to step back, evaluate how they're living currently and plan for any changes they wish to make. These vary, from lifestyle tweaks to work related moves.

So, with this in mind, why do people move to Wales? And why has the number of people fleeing the city to move to Wales increased since the coronavirus outbreak?

Here’s four reasons why…

    Time

    Lockdown hammered home the importance of a lot of things, one of which was time. With the majority of employees working remotely from home, the amount of hours spent commuting and in the work environment, has for many, really hit home.

    As a result, working from home has become the ‘in thing’ for a lot of service-focused industries, and in some cases even has companies encouraging their employees to do so, after noticing an increase in productivity during lockdown. Plus, working like this dramatically reduces people’s commutes, meaning most are far less anxious about work and only head to the city a handful of times each month. So, as you’d expect, this flexible lifestyle is encouraging more people to relocate to Wales and other scenic beauty spots. Why? Because for the first time ever, they can.

    Need any more proof that moving to Wales is a growing trend? Last year The Office of National Statistics announced that 340,500 people moved out of London in the 12 months before June 2018 - the largest number since they began collecting data in 2012!

    Outside space

    City life can be tough, especially on those of us with an ‘outdoorsy’ temperament. As city folk will already know, green space comes at a premium in any central urban area, whether it be public or private. So as you can imagine, the closest most residents get to a garden is a pokey yard, balcony or simply a strip of grass in front of their house. A dilemma that moving to Wales could solve in a heartbeat.

    Health

    Unless the local council are on top of their game, cities aren’t the most hygienic places to live. Cars pump out plooms of pollution, rivers choke on hordes of litter and the high population density means that residents practically live on top of each other, so when the cornonavirus hit, it’s no surprise that cities were some of the largest hot spots... apartment blocks especially, were not a comfortable place to be during lockdown!

    Whereas, over the border in Wales, with a population of just over 3 million and a population density of just 148 people per square kilometre, lockdown proved to be somewhat less disruptive. To put those figures into perspective, the population density of Central London comes in at around 16,000 people per kilometre, and even up where we’re based in Leeds, isn’t too close behind at 9450. In comparison to Wales then, you could 'city life' has become a whole lot less appealing

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    Low living costs

    Cities are notorious for their steep living costs – in most you’ll only get a maisonette with mansion money, especially if a central location is at the top of your wish list. Hefty ground rents, pricy car parking and crazy high council tax bills being just the tip of the iceberg. Team this with how paying top dollar doesn't necessarily equate to a large plot, and it’s no wonder there’s a spike in people leaving city life behind and moving to Wales.

    For instance, at the time of writing this blog, a one bedroom flat in central London can easily surpass the 1 million mark and rent for well over £2000 per calendar month – the most expensive we found was in Knightsbridge, priced at just over 5 million pounds!

    Yes, that’s over 5 million pounds, for a ONE bed! Don’t even ask us the price of a 2 bed…

    Contrast this against the average house price in Wales - £187k (Zoopla) – and it’s not hard to see why buyers are so motivated. But it’s not like the savings stop there. Housing in Wales is typically cheaper to run, much larger in size (for the money that is) and sits on a larger plot with development potential you wouldn’t find in a city.

    And that’s because the real motivator here is cash flow. In short, by moving to Wales, this new breed of buyer can retain their high paid job in the city, while eradicating the majority of their expenses. Less financial stress and more money for a rainy day (of which in Wales there’s many) - seems like common sense to us.

What about the Stamp Duty Holiday? Is that also why people are moving to Wales?

To a certain extent, yes. Housing in Wales was great value as it was, but the Welsh government has confirmed the stamp duty holiday will carry accross from England as of July 27th, which makes Wales an incredibly attractive place to buy. Those who like a bragin will be please to know will continue until March 31st 2021.

However, there are some restrictions, so don’t be caught out!

To qualify, a property has to be…

    Under £250k.

    Not used as a buy-to-let.

    Not a second home.

To learn more about the Stamp Duty Holiday across England and Wales, read our in-depth article here.

So, where should I move to in Wales?

Wales has A LOT of bragging rights when it comes to property, so just one won’t fit the bill. Where is the nicest place to live in Wales? That’s up to you, but here’s our top five pics…

Mumbles

Situated on Swansea Bay, this seaside town offers a wide variety of properties and includes the popular areas of Caswell and Lagland – both featuring sandy beaches ideal for evening walks or a spot of surfing. Aside from its beach and grand pier, Mumbles also recognised for its historic monuments including Oystermouth Castle.

Fancy relocating to Mumbles? The average house price is £292k (Zoopla)

Penarth

Just a mile from Cardiff, this is the wealthiest seaside resort you’ll find in the Cardiff area. Look towards the headland and you’ll be sure to find plenty million pound properties overlooking the Bristol Channel. Properties boasting a sea view will always demand a premium, as will the hefty villas and period properties that line the town’s various parks.

Got Penarth on your wish list? You’ll need on average £302k (Zoopla)

Abergavenny

Food lovers, keep reading…

Originally the site of a Roman fort, this market town in Monmouthshire isn’t short of quirks. One of its most famous being the Abergavenny Food Festival (Gŵylfwyd Fenni if you’re Welsh) that’s attracted the likes of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

But if exquisite food’s not your thing, you can always escape into the outdoors. Set against the Black Mountains and within the Breacon Beacons National Park, the surrounding countryside is the ideal playground for anyone with a love for cycling, hiking or rambling.

Is Abergavenny a contender? If so you’ll be paying an average of £277k (Zoopla)

Aberdyfi

Those moving to Wales must at least consider this coastal village. Considered by many to be the jewel of Cardigan Bay, Aberdyfi sits at the mouth of the river Dyfi and is a known hot spot for water sport enthusiasts as well as tourists. Distinctive four storey period properties line the beach, each painted in their own individual colour and rumour has it that some discreet but incredibly wealthy entrepreneurs own holiday houses here.

Not that you need to be a millionaire to live here. Houses in the area typically go for around £183k (Zoopla).

Narberth

We’ve saved the best till last. This small market town in Pembrokeshire has been named the best place to live in Wales in 2020!

Why? Because the town offers so much! The high street, lined with Georgian and Edwardian buildings, features a vast array of independent shops, stocking everything from wine to fine foods. But that’s not to say people in Narberth don’t go out – there’s also a wide variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Then again you’d expect this with them too holding a popular food festival as well as an annual civic week.

And yet, property prices in Narberth aren’t as extortionate as you may think – just £214k on average.

But, should I seriously consider moving to Wales?

That’s entirely up to you. I mean if you do we wouldn’t blame you, especially considering the current climate.

Although, if your answer’s yes, we’d advise that you don’t hang around. With the recent surge of people moving to Wales, it's likely the Welsh housing market will see demand escalate even further, potentially limiting your pool of potential properties. Exactly why if you've found that dream property, selling your home fast is essential - plus, having 'cash buyer status' also helps you with any onward negotiations!

Thankfully, as a trusted cash buyer of property across the UK, we can do just that, and guide you and your sale to completion within as little as 7 days.

Yes, you heard us right, 7 days!

And there’s no need to worry if your house is somewhat complicated – unmortgageable, has an overgrown garden or is getting low interest on the open market… we’re not picky.

So if you are thinking of moving to Wales, and moving fast, reach out to our team today on 0800 024 8444

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