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Multiple tough lockdowns have not deterred this housing market

Average house prices in Wales have risen three per cent in the past year, despite multiple difficult lockdowns considered more severe than those seen in England.

In the past quarter alone - following the end of the country’s biggest lockdown period, concluding in June - average Welsh prices rose 2.2 per cent.

Data from there Principality Building Society shows that the number of property sales was down by 58 per cent between April and September when compared with the same period in 2019.

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But in September six local authorities in Wales – Bridgend (£190,948), Cardiff (£247,030), Carmarthenshire (£172,708), Gwynedd (£198,279), Newport (£213,660) and Powys (£222,992) - reached a new record average house price. 

Mike Jones, chief risk officer at Principality Building Society, says: “The extension of the furlough scheme and mortgage payment deferral scheme could, in the short term, help offset the impact of weakening economic performance. However, many experts continue to forecast a rise in unemployment during the coming months and that will inevitably impact consumer confidence and the housing market.”

In Wales, the Land Transaction Tax concession introduced in July moved the threshold from £180,000 up to a new level of £250,000 until March 31 next year, but this is worth only a maximum of £2,450 to people who buy a property for this price.

“Given the relatively low savings that can be obtained on the LTT duty in Wales, we do not consider the impact of the temporary rate will be as significant as it appears to be in England’s housing market. The temporary LTT holiday in Wales does not apply to second homes or buy-to-let properties, where an additional rate of three per cent remains payable” says Jones.

During the third quarter of this year the area with the highest increase in average house price was Gwynedd, which rose by 14.6 per cent. 

In Gwynedd the price of detached homes increased from an average £250,000 during Q2 2020 to £280,000 during Q3 2020, however this increase in value was assisted by the sale of the area’s highest priced detached home of the calendar year at £1.2m.

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