Property: Hot Spot - Cardiff, Barry And Penarth: Posh and poor down on the waterfront

THE HARBOURS in Cardiff and Barry used to work for a living. Soon, they will mostly devote themselves to leisure pursuits.

Thanks to a new barrage enclosing the bay between Cardiff and Penarth, a large permanent freshwater lake will replace mud flats. A sizeable swathe of Barry's waterfront is being reclaimed. Like a fairy godmother, waterfront urban regeneration is transforming South Glamorgan almost beyond recognition.

This area has always blended posh and poor, and the popular villages in the Vale of Glamorgan will oblige you if you want to spend seven digits' worth of pounds. In urban areas, less than pounds 50,000 buys a new or not so new flat or, in some areas, even a house. New luxury three-bedroom flats and penthouses cost upwards of pounds 300,000.

Cyncoed, Llandaff, Whitchurch and Heath are among Cardiff's premier residential areas. "The top end of the market is very strong," says the man who gives his name to Kelvin Francis and Co. estate agents, "and the best houses can cost more than pounds 400,000. But three-bedroom homes are also available for as little as pounds 75,000. Heath is always a good investment. It's a barometer. If Heath is not selling well, the market generally is in poor shape. Heath is an ideal middle ground."

"A good place for a bargain in Penarth," says Victoria Bywater of John Leslie estate agents, "is the town centre where there are small traditional terraces, many in poor condition." She also recommends the area near Paget Road and Paget Place, where bay views come with houses, some very large. "People have already caught on to this. A year ago the mid-terrace four- or five-bedroom house you could have picked up for pounds 60-65,000 now sells for about pounds 90,000."

Cheaper still are ex-council flats, although the recent relocation of large numbers of problem families is plaguing some of these estates.

Even cheaper is Barry where, says Ms Bywater, "a two- or three-bed mid- terrace sells for pounds 35-40,000 and would go for pounds 55-60,000 in Penarth."

The countryside "contains many attractive villages but not many properties are available and access into Cardiff isn't good," says Mr Francis.

The schools in the area, in Ms Bywater's view, "are wonderful. Two comprehensive schools, Stanmore Road and St Cyrus, have excellent reputations, and there are many private and primary schools to choose from."

Ms Bywater believes that "with the barrage nearing completion and many businesses moving to the area, everyone needs homes but the limited supply means that prices are moving up quite rapidly".

Lowdown

Prices: Cardiff developer St David has just raised the prices on the 21 flats, penthouses and town houses in its Meridien development in Penarth, bringing them to between pounds 195,000 and pounds 300,000. In Penarth, new flats and period houses both return change from pounds 100,000. Ex-council houses are available for pounds 65,000, and flats for less than pounds 40,000. Cardiff is generally more, and Barry less, expensive.

Transport: The M4 skirts Cardiff to the north. Inter-city rail service serves London via Bristol and Bath. Local trains link Cardiff, Penarth and Barry. Cardiff International Airport is three miles west of Barry.

Seeing and Doing: Plenty of waterfront and open country mean plenty of boating and golf. The area has lots of attractions for all tastes and age groups.

Later this Year: Elections for the Welsh Assembly are due to be held in May. The Rugby World Cup is coming in June.

Judging by Travel Brochure: "It's an age-old adage, but it's true. People do judge places by the standard of toilet facilities."

Estate Agents: John Leslie & Partners, Penarth 01222 712266; Kelvin Francis & Co, Cardiff 01222 766538.

Shopping and Dining: In the Cardiff area there are four malls and plenty of quality restaurants.

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine