The Welsh city of Swansea may have in the past been in the shadow of the capital city Cardiff somewhat when it comes to national attention and investment but over the past few years this has begun to change.
These days, Swansea is a thriving city in its own right and is beginning to attract significant inward investment from businesses and buy-to-let investors. But why has Swansea become popular with outsiders looking to move into the area? What has changed in recent years that has turned Swansea into a desirable place to live, work and study, and why are investors snapping up property in the city?
Let us take a look…
What is Swansea like to live in?
Swansea’s evolution into the modern, forward-thinking city it is today has not been quick. In the 19th century, it thrived as the epicentre of the copper industry. The subsequent downturn in copper led to a century of economic downturn, amplified further by the devastations of World War II. Throughout the 1960s, new homes began to spring up and sowed the seeds for today’s developments.
Today is much rosier picture in Swansea. An ambitious drive to nurture startups and innovative industries has breathed fresh vibrancy into the city, making it an increasingly sought-after place to live.
With more developments on the horizon, the city is in a good place. Recognizing the power of innovation, the city council has put a premium on attracting tech businesses to the area. Initiatives like the Kingsway Digital Village will serve as magnets for startups and entrepreneurs, championing the next wave of digital breakthroughs.
If you are looking for investment opportunities, Swansea is worth consideration. Likewise, if you want to jump on this demand for property and get a good price for your current Swansea home, you can sell flat fast or sell your house with us and we can sell it on, saving you significant time and effort.
What is the cost of living in Swansea?
Without question, Swansea stands out for its affordability, especially when compared to cities such as Manchester which are much more expensive to live in.
A family of four would expect monthly expenses excluding rent to be about £2,400. On the other hand, an individual on their own would likely spend close to £680 monthly. Swansea’s rents are particularly appealing, with average rates falling approximately 23.8% below Manchester’s as a direct comparison.
When considering everyday expenditures:
- A casual dining experience costs approximately £17 per person.
- A more upscale three-course dinner for a duo is estimated at £50.
- Essential grocery items like milk, bread, and eggs are competitively priced, but prices, like the whole of Wales, are increasing due to inflation remaining stubbornly high.
- For those commuting, a single-journey local transport ticket is £3.75, and frequent travellers can opt for the monthly pass at £72.
- Utility bills for an apartment measuring around 85m2—covering electricity, heating, water, and waste disposal—average about £132 monthly.
Swansea isn’t just about affordability though; it’s also about lifestyle. Residents can access fitness clubs for an average monthly fee of £24. If a movie night beckons, a film will set you back around £7 per ticket. For those looking to settle in the heart of the city, a one-bedroom apartment’s rent fluctuates between £600 and £800 monthly.
How much is property in Swansea?
Whilst property prices in Swansea are below the national average, as of July 2023 the statistics show that property sales in the area experienced a decline of 29.4% year on year, with 8.1k transactions in total. This is almost certainly down to the increasing interest rates, with mortgages averaging around 5.4%. However, despite this, property remains affordable compared to the rest of the UK. So if you can afford the mortgage it is a buyers’ market out there with reduced competition for homes, meaning some people are willing to accept lower offers.
In Swansea, the average property is currently priced at £218k, while the median stands at £178k. Over the past year, there was a 6% increase in the average price, adding £12k to the average home cost. Established properties average £217k, while new ones are priced higher at £277k. The majority of properties, 26.4%, were sold within the £100k-£150k range, closely followed by 21.4% in the £150k-£200k range. For context, in July 2023, the average and median property prices in England & Wales were £362k and £278k, respectively, so there is definitely an opportunity to get on the ladder here or invest in a buy-to-let property!
What are the best parts of Swansea to live in?
Swansea has a wide selection of areas to choose from, all offering something a little bit different. Where you want a quiet neighbourhood with good schools for the kids or you want to live close to nightlife or the beach to attract student renters, knowing where to look is important. Here are a few areas worth checking out:
- Derwen Fawr: Close to Swansea University, this peaceful yet central location saw an average property price of £299,000 last year, up 5% from the year before.
- The Mumbles: A coastal area known for its boutique shops and nightlife, it had an average property price of £433,000 last year.
- Parkmill: Located in the Gower Peninsula, it’s ideal for retirees, with last year’s average property price at £330,000.
- Uplands: A city-fringe area boasting cultural offerings, properties averaged £224,000 last year, showing a 5% growth.
- Llanmadoc: A peaceful village in North Gower, its property average was £396,000 last year, marking a 30% decrease.
- Murton: A village setting, properties averaged £431,000, marking a 24% growth from the previous year.
- Newton: Part of the Mumbles area, it witnessed a 9% growth with properties averaging £476,000 last year.
- Penmaen: Near Swansea’s finest beaches, it’s a sought-after area with homes reaching up to £600k.
- Penllergaer: A suburb ideal for working families, it recorded an average property price of £308,214, up 21% from the last year.
- Kittle: A serene location, it saw property prices averaging £363,000, a 7% annual increase.
Is Wales a good place to invest in property?
Wales, and in particular Swansea, is a fantastic place to invest. Research by Paragon Bank goes even further and says Swansea is the best place in the UK to invest in student accommodation. Rental yields in Swansea lead the pack with a 9.56% yield on an average property price of £231,534. Student properties can be traditional rentals or Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) setups, where students lease individual rooms. An HMO typically houses at least three tenants sharing facilities. If you are looking to rent to private renters, Swansea investors will see an average rental income of £844 per month, providing a 5.27% yield. These high yields are 0.16% more than the UK average and a 0.52% increase on Wales’s average.
Outside of Swansea, there are plenty of other locations in Wales that are great spots for investment too.
- Port Talbot, situated conveniently near Swansea, boasts one of the nation’s most significant steelworks, employing thousands. Such industrial stature necessitates rental accommodations, offering property investors a ripe market of workers needing housing.
- The Bridgend and Rhondda Valleys have emerged as property investment gems, especially for single lets. Offering breathtaking countryside views, ample recreational options for families, and convenient transport routes to Swansea and Cardiff, these regions are undeniably appealing. With homes typically priced between £40-£120k, they provide a lower entry point for investors. Their affordability, coupled with the potential for high yields and longer tenant retention, makes them stable long-term investments.
- Cardiff, with its burgeoning growth, stands out as an investment haven. Home to three universities and a large student populace, Cardiff is a hotbed for student and professional HMOs. With projections indicating robust growth for the next two decades and its capability to host globally recognized events, Cardiff promises high returns.
In essence, South Wales offers a diverse range of promising investment locales. For those still navigating their investment path, partnering with a reputable local property sourcing agent can provide valuable insights and opportunities.
Get Cash for Your Home Today
If you do find yourself in the position of owning a buy-to-let property and are looking to sell to cash in on demand, We Buy Any Home can help. We offer a quick and efficient method of selling properties throughout Swansea and beyond, regardless of the condition or location of the property. We can even buy flats with cladding issues. If you need to sell a tenanted property, get in touch to receive your free cash offer and you could have the cash in your account in as little as 7 days.