Has the Welsh Property Bubble Threat Diminished?

The Welsh Property Market has been reported as being “very slow” by Estate Agents in recent months, with the fears of an impending property bubble falling away a little more each week.

Experts believe that property buyers and sellers in Wales are simply sitting on the fence, though economists and estate agents are both predicting a sharp rise in demand and prices over the next few months.

At the start of 2015, house prices in places such as Cardiff began falling month-on-month and average values were higher year-on-year in Wales. This pushed them up to previously unseen record levels.

Last year there were significant concerns that a property bubble was on the horizon in Wales, yet these fears have been allayed by experts who say that these concerns are now well in the past and the property markets is showing signs of slowing down. The busiest time of year for the property market is almost always the Easter period, with enthused buyers looking to secure the very best deal in time for the summer. In addition, parents are desperately seeking potential schools for their children in time for the new academic year.

Tony Filice, spokesman for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, said that he felt both buyers and sellers were still “sitting on the fence” when it came to pushing through property sales over the Easter period. The first quarter of the year was much faster than that of the Easter period and this was something Mr Filice was keen to address. At the end of last year, stamp duty was reformed and the new tax applied marginally instead of the “slab structure” under the old system, which was much criticised.

The Budget saw George Osborne introduce a new Help to Buy scheme that would come into affect this coming Autumn. It would provide those who were looking to save as much as possible for the purpose of acquiring their first property up to 25% on top of what they needed to put away up to as much as £3000. The shared ownership scheme Help to Buy was just another on-going effort to stimulate the market, yet estate agents have still reported a slow-down in the property market.

In March, a Nationwide survey found that house prices had fallen in Wales by 0.5%, turning the region into the weakest part of the UK.

It is difficult at this stage to determine the impact of the General Election, though it seems the property market has picked up over the last few months or so. Mr Filice said in April “Last year was a bumper year bearing in mind that in February 2014 mortgage products came out at 95%, which released everyone who had been dormant or waiting to get up the ladder”. He continued “This year it’s been slower – there’s no particular reason. I’ve spoken to surveyors in Scotland and Ireland and they’ve had a similar sequence where it’s been a slow start but its gathering momentum”.

House prices fell by 0.2% month-on-month in January and the majority of the UK witnessed a slowdown, according to the Office for National Statistics. Average prices had however increased year-on-year in Wales by 4.9%, which set new record levels of £174,000. Land Registry Data contradicted these findings however, stating more modest growth. LRD is often relied upon as the most accurate as it is based on home prices that have changed hands. This suggests overall that house prices in Wales grew by 1.6% between January 2014 and January 2015.

With the single biggest threat to recovery being a projected bubble, the new mortgage lending regulations were introduced to tackle these fears last May. By October, London house prices fell for the first time in four years and this was the biggest indication since that the market was cooling a little. Ultimately, the quest in places such as Cardiff from summer 2015 onwards is a steady market per annum, with more houses built that are affordable for the first-time buyer.

Article provided by www.barryhomebuyers.co.uk, a family-run business based in Wales for over two decades – helping clients to sell property, fast.

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