If you are a potential first-time buyer, you are probably quite frustrated with everything related to the property market. For years house prices have been rising, and those lucky enough to be able to get onto the ladder benefited from record-low mortgage rates, which kept repayments low and affordable. Now, house prices are slowing and even contracting by as much as 10% in some areas, but interest rates are the highest in over 10 years, making mortgages expensive and unaffordable to many. It’s never easy, is it?!
Whilst these frustrations are understandable, one way to get yourself on the property ladder is to buy property in more affordable areas. Luckily for you, there are plenty of affordable cities throughout the UK.
What is the cheapest city to buy property in the UK?
For individuals eager to leap into homeownership, certain cities promise substantial savings compared to renting.
Bradford tops the list as the most affordable city for first-time buyers with an average home price of £104,643 and monthly mortgage payments of £521, leading to savings of £102 compared to renting. Carlisle follows closely with homes averaging £104,784 and monthly mortgages at £522, saving buyers £34 monthly versus renting.
One city of particular interest is Swansea. Here, the average cost of housing for first-time buyers stands at £137,855. Opting for a mortgage would mean a monthly payment of £686 while renting averages at £884. This translates into a noteworthy monthly saving of almost £200.
With such a big disparity between mortgage costs and renting, it is worth taking a look in more detail at the current property market in this Welsh city.
What is the local housing strategy in Swansea?
Swansea’s Labour Council administration has prioritised delivering high-quality, eco-friendly, and affordable housing, to build 1,000 homes in the next ten years.
In the current phase, more than 50 new properties constructed for affordable renting are nearing completion. This range includes everything from flat conversions to spacious three-bedroom family homes. Among the properties set to be available are twenty-five homes in Hillview Crescent, Clase, eighteen homes in Colliers Way, Penlan, and eight flats at the former Bryn House on Walter Road.
This surge in housing isn’t just about quantity; it also emphasises energy efficiency. In 2023 the council has directed over £7m towards constructing new homes, a venture that simultaneously fosters job opportunities and apprenticeships for Swansea residents.
There is a high demand for quality, affordable rental homes in Swansea for both individuals and families. Funding for these ventures is sourced from tenant rents, grants from the Welsh Government, and HRA borrowing. Notably, no part of this financial expenditure is derived from council tax.
Several key initiatives and collaborations underpin Swansea’s housing strategy:
- Decarbonising Swansea: A strategy is in the works to achieve this by 2050. There’s a keen focus on addressing carbon emissions from housing.
- Eco-friendly Initiatives: This includes installing solar panels in schools and making sure new and existing housing is energy-efficient.
- Homelessness Solutions: Plans are in place to provide 100 long-term homes for the homeless, supplemented by mental health and social support to keep them from reverting to homelessness.
- Promotion of Active Living: The strategy encourages active travel and access to green spaces to uphold good mental and physical health.
- Collaborations: Swansea is working alongside Natural Resources Wales, the Public Services Board, Cardiff University, and various housing associations. This collective effort encompasses a Green Infrastructure Strategy for new housing, a ‘Homes as Power Stations’ project, and ensuring new developments have affordable housing.
Overall, Swansea’s approach to housing is comprehensive, interlinking decarbonisation, green infrastructure, and affordability. They envision a prosperous and resilient community, where the housing strategy plays a pivotal role in fostering well-being and equality.
Is the right-to-buy scheme still available in Wales?
The ‘Right to Buy’ scheme, introduced by the UK Government, allows tenants of housing associations to purchase their rented homes at a discounted rate. In England, this scheme has recently been extended, leading to increased inquiries from tenants keen on buying their homes.
However, it’s crucial to note that this extension is applicable only in England. In Wales, and therefore Swansea, housing decisions fall under the jurisdiction of the Welsh Government. They decided to abolish the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme in 2019. This was done to safeguard the number of affordable housing options available for those in need. As of now in 2023, there is no intention to reintroduce this scheme in Wales.
Does social housing lower house prices?
According to a study published in ‘Economic Issues’ in June 2021, there is a short-term negative relationship between social housing and house prices, however, in the long term, there is no evidence to suggest that social housing impacts house prices. It’s noteworthy that while increasing social housing can assist younger families struggling with housing affordability in the short term, it doesn’t have any long-term adverse effects on the housing market.
Where is the cheapest place to live in Wales?
The Rhondda Cynon Taf region shines as the top pick for affordability. The cheapest areas include:
Homes average around £108,505. It’s a bit of a journey to Cardiff (about 90 minutes) and even more to Swansea. This could be why prices are such a steal and should appeal to those who can work remotely.
A close second, homes here go for about £109,498. It’s nestled amidst captivating hills, and you’d be near Darran Park’s serene Maiden’s pool.
A quaint spot with homes averaging £125,301.
Just a short hop from Tonypandy, homes here are a tad more at £132,034. There’s a buzz about an upcoming transport upgrade here with a £3.5 million fund backing it.
Rounding up our list is Mountain Ash where homes are about £132,034.
But what about Swansea?
First-timers will need around £20,063 for a deposit in Swansea, which might seem daunting. Especially as recent studies by St. Modwen Homes highlight the broad deposit range in Wales, from £19,867 in Wrexham to a heftier £34,701 in St Davids.
However, let’s put things in perspective: Swansea might not be the most affordable in Wales, but when you zoom out to the UK and even other parts of Wales, it’s still a comparatively good place to buy. First-time buyers can also explore ways to reduce their initial deposit, making their homeownership dreams more attainable.
Are you considering selling a property in Swansea? Be it a 3-bedroom apartment by the Marina or a spacious four-bedroom house in Uplands, we’re able to sell house fast, ensuring you get an exceptional deal all at no cost to you, thanks to our cash house buying service.
At We Buy Any Home, our staff have over 300 years of expertise in property sales, spanning Swansea and beyond. Our partnership with the industry’s leading solicitors, surveyors, and valuation experts guarantees a swift sale, typically within 2-3 weeks, coupled with an accurate valuation and a competitive offer for your property. We have buyers ready to go, so there is no waiting around for months’ worth of viewings with no sale guaranteed at the end of it like with High Street agents.
So don’t hesitate; contact us for your no-obligation quote today on your Swansea home.