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Pembrokeshire

Pandemic property boom sees first-time buyer house prices soar

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New research has revealed just how much worse off the nation’s first-time buyers are, as a result of the pandemic property market boom – with first-time buyers in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion amongst the hardest hit.

The research by Stipendium, a platform focussed around simplifying complex life events such as moving home, looked at the cost of purchasing a first home before the start of the pandemic in December 2019 and how it has changed today. 

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The research shows that across Great Britain, the average first-time buyer paid £195,267 prior to the pandemic. Today this has climbed to £228,627, a 17% increase meaning they are now paying £33,000 more. 

First-time buyers in Wales have seen the largest percentage increase at 22%, with those in the South West, North West and East Midlands also seeing some of the largest increases at 20%. 

People wanting to get on the property ladder for the first time in Pembrokeshire have seen the 4th highest increase percentage increase in the UK at 29% – that’s an average of an additional £46,542 added onto the cost of buying a home compared to prices before the pandemic. It means that the average first time buyer in Pembrokeshire is paying £209,798 compared to £163,256 in 2019.

Ceredigion doesn’t fare much better, coming in at the 5th highest percentage increase in the UK at 28%. First-time buyers here will pay an average of £217, 747 – an increase of £47,545 on pre-pandemic prices.

Christina Melling, CEO of Stipendium, commented: “The pandemic property market boom has been widely regarded as a positive to be taken from an otherwise tough period and in some cases, this is certainly true. 

“However, the introduction of yet another demand focussed government initiative in the form of the stamp duty holiday has only caused greater imbalance within the market, pushing the affordability of homeownership even further out of grasp for the nation’s first-time buyers. 

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“While pre-pandemic life may seem a long time ago, the financial commitment for the average first-time buyer is now £30,000 higher than it was just two years ago. 

“Unfortunately, until the government addresses the current housing crisis by actually building more homes, we can expect to see more of the same over the coming years. All we can do in the meantime, is best educate those looking to buy their first home on how they can save money during the overall process and what to expect when looking to buy.”

The Welsh Government recently announced an increase to the maximum level of council tax premiums for second homes, as well as new local tax rules for holiday lets in an effort to tackle the soaring cost of buying homes in Wales.

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