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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Welsh house prices rise by 15%
House prices in Wales increased by 15% in the last three months, according to new figures out on Monday.

The report by the Principality Building Society, the largest building society in Wales, said buyers are currently being encouraged by low interest rates.


Across Wales we are still witnessing a substantial rise in the cost of houses

Principality Building Society boss Peter Griffiths

The society said Wales' house price boom is still growing, bucking the trend of a slowdown in other parts of Britain.

It said a confident jobs market had fuelled the 15th successive rise which sees Cardiff still claiming the highest average house price in Wales at 103,798.

The 15.2% rise is higher than the 13.1% rise recorded in the previous three months.

The continued price inflation in the Welsh capital means the knock-on effect is pushing up prices in surrounding "unfashionable" areas.

Principality Building Society chief executive Peter Griffiths said: "Across Wales we are still witnessing a substantial rise in the cost of houses.

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First-time buyers face the hardest challenge

"The Welsh housing market remains very prosperous, as has been illustrated in our recent surveys."

The news comes after the first ever 500,000 semi in Wales was snapped up last week.

The five-bedroom Edwardian property overlooking Roath Park in Cardiff was bought for 575,000 after being on the market for just six days.

While regions such as Greater London and Bristol have experienced a major slowdown in the buy-to-let market during the summer, this has not been experienced in Wales.

As properties in popular areas of Cardiff continue to be in short supply, the house price inflation trend has spread from the capital to surrounding areas such as Barry and the south Wales valley towns.

First-time buyers

Mr Griffiths added: "If prices move beyond a buyer's reach in a certain area it always makes sense for them to look at neighbouring communities in which to settle."

The figures show that the first-time buyer market is particularly buoyant in areas such as Baneswell in Newport, Penydarren in Merthyr Tydfil and Kenfig Hill and Cimla in Neath.

Cardiff house price average is followed by Newport at 77,379, Wrexham with 73,054 and Swansea at 72,471.

The lowest average prices are in Bangor at 66,273.

Last week a Monmouthshire housing association launched a scheme, thought to be the first of its kind in Wales, aimed at helping first-time buyers step on to the property ladder.

Under the Rural Homebuy initiative, Gwerin Housing Association, will take a 50% equity stake in the home, with the new owner paying the other half with a mortgage.


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20 Sep 02 | Scotland
20 Sep 02 | Business
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