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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK
Wales sees highest property rise
Woman looking in estate agents window
Wales has the 'hottest' and 'coolest' property price rise areas
Wales has seen the largest and smallest rises in house prices in England and Wales, according to new figures.

The latest report from the Land Registry reveals that property prices in Merthyr Tydfil have gone up 44% compared to the same period last year.

Blaenau Gwent, was second at 30%. Meanwhile, house prices in the Vale of Glamorgan went up by just 1% between January and March this year.

The average Welsh house price is over 133,000. The UK average is 183,486.

Across the UK, the average price increase was 10.27%.

Mick McGuire, Director of Business Development at the Principality Building Society, said house prices in Wales had been driven by supply and demand.

He said: "Demand for housing in south Wales along the coastal belt was very high if you go back two or three years.

"As a result house prices rose very quickly in Cardiff, Newport, Bridgend, and Swansea but they have risen to such a level that they are now longer affordable for first time buyers.

Terraced houses (freefoto.com)
First time buyers are bargain hunting further north in the valleys

"Because of that, first time buyers have had to go bargain hunting further north, looking up the valleys, initially towards places like Pontypridd, and Pontypool and Treorchy.

"But now they are going even further north like Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent.

"So what's tending to happen is people are forced because of affordability to live further up the valleys at the heads of the valleys, and essentially commute to work in south Wales."

He said this northward migration of first time buyers was having a positive impact on the valleys communities.

He said: "What you find is an influx of working people who will improve the economy in the valleys region."

New homes

But despite the jump in prices, the volume of property sales has decreased compared with last year.

According to the report, nearly 160,000 people bought new homes between January and March this year, compared to nearly a quarter of a million last year.

Last month, figures released by a property website suggested Ferndale in the Rhondda Valleys was the cheapest town in England and Wales with an average home costing 29,693.

But local estate agents said a more realistic selling price for houses in the area was 60,000.

Valleys tops for cheapest homes
25 Apr 05 |  South East Wales
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08 Feb 05 |  Business
Wales houses top price index
16 Oct 04 |  Business
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09 Aug 04 |  South East Wales
Wales house prices soar
08 Aug 03 |  Wales


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