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
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)

comedy

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
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.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own