Fall in Welsh house prices continues

House prices in Wales have fallen by £2,048 over the last 12 months and are now 1.3% lower than last year

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The Independent Online

The average house in Wales now costs £151,821, nearly 11 per cent lower than their record peak in 2007, according to new figures from LSL Property Services.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Reeds Rains estate agents, who has branches in Wales said: "Unlike the rest of Britain, the Welsh housing market remains in slow reverse. Wales has seen the biggest annual average house price fall of any region. However, outside of Wales, only Londoners saw their houses rise significantly in value in April. Sales in Wales are depressed compared to England, but London is the exception, not the rule, so the dramatic comparison is unclear.

"The torpor in the Welsh market is due to inadequate mortgage availability for first-time buyers. Encouragingly, more Welsh buyers are making enquiries and plans for new estate agency businesses are also rumoured, so the interest is there. It’s the inaccessibility of mortgage finance for the average buyer that’s reining in demand. High rents and growing inflation are reducing the amount first-time buyers can set aside to meet the large deposit requirements required by lenders."

Average prices in Wales fell by £219 over the last month with house prices falling in 12 of the 22 unitary authorities. The 14 southernmost areas of Wales saw prices fall almost 19 per cent, compared to the rise of 2.2 per cent in prices in the six northernmost areas.

"The Help to Buy scheme is a step in the right direction, but wealthier buyers will continue to have an overly large impact on the market and house prices as the year goes on. Hopes are high that the Government’s new initiatives will put the Welsh housing market back on course.”