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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 19:50 GMT 20:50 UK
Wales 'UK cheapest to rent home'
To rent or buy can be a dilemma for many looking at the property ladder
Wales is the best part of the UK to rent a home rather than buy it, according to new figures.

A report by the Abbey bank has revealed that homeowners in most areas of the UK are on average 24,000 better off over a 25-year mortgage period than tenants.

However, the statistics suggest that in Wales the opposite is true, with renters 27,000 better off than buyers.

A property expert has said the figures are due to an "oversupply" of rental properties in some areas of Wales.

The Abbey said its annual "Rent vs Buy" reports showed that the gap between buying and renting has been narrowing.

Just because that's the case this year, it shouldn't influence people thinking about buying a property in Wales
Tracy North, mortgage expert

This year's report has shown for the first time that in some areas of the UK renting is cheaper than buying.

Wales came out as best for tenants, with renting 8% cheaper over a 25-year period than buying a property.

But property expert Martyn Russell said the results for Wales were due to too many rental properties in some areas of the country, and did not necessarily reflect the whole of Wales.

"There has been an oversupply of rental apartments, especially in the Cardiff Bay area, so consequently that forces rentals down, and would create the effect that Wales appeared to be better value for rental," he said.

Mr Russell said that although there were good rental deals available, there were also good deals for first-time buyers.

"People are more realistic about their sales prices, and things are moving," he added.

'Security and stability'

Abbey mortgage expert Tracy North said the findings of the report were "quite unusual".

She said that although renters in Wales could save 27,000, it was "not that much" over 25 years.

"The fact still remains that although you may be 27,000 better off in Wales by renting, you're still not going to own your property at the end of the 25-year period."

"You've got more security, more stability, and you do have an investment," she added.

She said the figures were a "snapshot" and should be kept in context.

"The pendulum does swing," she said.

"Just because that's the case this year, it shouldn't influence people thinking about buying a property in Wales because you know two years down the line it could be a very different picture."

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04 May 06 |  Business
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21 Dec 05 |  Business


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