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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Valleys tops for cheapest homes
Terraced houses (freefoto.com)
The top 10 of least expensive towns features eight from the valleys
Eight of the 10 cheapest places to buy a house in the UK are in the south Wales valleys according to figures released by a property website.

Ferndale in the Rhondda Valleys has been named as the cheapest town with an average home costing 29,693 according to mouseprice.com.

Other towns in the top 10 include New Tredegar, Treorchy, and Pentre.

But local estate agents say the figures released do not reflect current prices with houses selling for around 60,000.

The top 10 of least expensive towns in the UK was made up from analysis by mouseprice.com, which is based upon the average property selling price of towns in Land Registry figures since April 2000.

In the last five years, a housing boom has seen many areas double in price - which could explain why the housing figure for Ferndale is so low in the new figures released.

Top 10 least expensive towns
1. Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf - 29,693
2. New Tredegar, Caerphilly - 34,267
3. Treorchy, Rhondda Cynon Taf - 36,263
4. Pentre, Rhondda Cynon Taf - 37,404
5. Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf - 38,300
6. Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent - 38,906
7. Tredegar, Caerphilly - 39,000
8. Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf - 39,344
9. Moor Row, Cumbria - 41, 604
10. Shildon, Durham - 42, 702
Source: mouseprice.com from Land Registry, from April 2000

"Those figures are inaccurate," said Stephen Morgan the branch manager for Darlows estate agent in Tonypandy.

"Maybe two years ago that would have been the case but we have seen prices double in that time.

"In Ferndale itself, for a nice three bedroom you are looking at in the region of about 60,000.

"And even the cheapest property in one of the surrounding areas like Maerdy - you would be really struggling to find anything for under 30,000 - it is more like 45,000 to 55,000 for the cheapest.

"On our books at the moment, the lowest priced property we have is a one bed mid terrace in Treherbert for 38,000."

Mr Morgan said that the inflating prices of the housing market nationwide had had an impact on the numbers of homes available to buy in the area.

Earls Terrace in west London
The most expensive - Earls Terrace in Kensington, London, with prices an average 4.27m

"People used to move down to places like Pontypridd or Llantrisant where there was about a 35,000 to 50,000 increase in the value of property," he said.

"But now, the price difference has shot up to around 100,000 and people simply can't afford to move to those areas now.

"We get a lot of first time buyers wanting to buy up here and of course the investors buy here too.

"I am sure that the area is probably one of the cheapest places to buy a property but not as cheap as 29,000," he added.

His comments were supported by Natasha Daczkowski from Tudball and Edwards estate agents.

"Ferndale is actually a very popular place and you would be looking at around 50,000 for a three bedroom house which needs doing up in the town," she said.

"The surrounding places like Maerdy and Tylorstown are cheaper but I wouldn't say that 29,000 is fair representative of the area at all.

"It is more like 35,000 to 40,000 for the cheapest places."

The agents said that a surplus of council-owned housing and poor transportation links meant that the housing market in Maerdy and nearby areas was not buoyant.

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