Wales Property Buying Guide
Since 1996, Wales has been divided into 22 principal areas for government purposes, replacing the eight previous counties and 37 districts. These council areas include Carmarthenshire, Monmouthshire, Powys and the Vale of Glamorgan, while major cities such as Cardiff, Swansea and Newport are classed as their own areas.
From vibrant urban centres to traditional mining towns and mountainous villages, Wales is a diverse place that appeals to a wide range of homebuyers. Whether you’re looking for help choosing an area or property advice for buying in Wales, this beautiful country is overflowing with great options.
Wales property market prices & trends
Whether you’re searching for an investment opportunity or advice for first-time and second-time buyers, upsizers or downsizers in Wales, don’t miss our latest offers to help you get the most out of your next purchase.
Best investment areas in Wales
Principality’s Wales House Price Index also reported a steady increase across all 22 of the country’s principal areas. Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan all showed growth of around 20%, along with Swansea and Newport.
House prices in Blaenau Gwent and Wrexham rose by over 20%, marking them out among the best places to invest in property in Wales. In the former, the town of Ebbw Vale has a beautiful setting on the edge of the Brecon Beacons. With only a 40-minute drive to Cardiff in good traffic and Newport even closer by, it’s a place worth looking at.
Conwy has also been highlighted as a property hotspot on account of its recent rising prices. Enjoying a superb location along the north coast, the walled town could be a great place to consider if you’re looking to purchase a buy-to-let property in Wales.
The same goes for traditional South Wales property hotspots Cardiff, Newport and Swansea. All three cities are located along the country’s south coast, offering great access both to the seaside and the epic mountains to the north. They also boast excellent rental yields that can rise well beyond 5% thanks to affordable property prices.
The local property scene shows the popularity of this part of South Wales, which often brings brand new homes to the market. This includes our Parc Fferm Wen development in the St Athan area, as well as Nant Y Castell in Caldicot, where you can discover how easy it is to invest with us.
The most sought-after property areas in Wales
Recently named the country’s most expensive town for housing, Cowbridge is regarded as one of the best places to live in Wales. One of the UK’s most popular property hotspots, house prices in this Vale of Glamorgan town increased by 25% between 2016 and 2021.
Home to some of the highest-value property in Wales, this rural town at the border with South West England is ideally suited to the modern trend of wanting more space at home and in the surrounding area. Whether you’re working remotely, or you need to travel into nearby Newport, you’ll have the stunning Wye Valley AONB and the Brecon Beacons right on the doorstep.
Lying on the northern outskirts of Cardiff, this attractive suburb sees some of the highest property demand in Wales. Only five miles from the centre of the capital, you’ll often need double the budget to buy a home in this sought-after neighbourhood than the Cardiff average.
Best places to move with your family in Wales
Home to a collection of excellent state schools and one of the best independent in Wales, this pleasant town at the mouth of the River Loughor is ideal for families who enjoy outdoor spaces, as well as parents commuting to Swansea, which lies just over 10 miles away.
Like Llanelli, this picturesque town is home to a great choice of schools in Esytn’s green support category. The Quay, as it’s known to locals, is only 10 miles from Chester and 20 from Liverpool. With lots of local green spaces, including Wepre Park, the town lies on the south bank of the River Dee and is ideally situated for scenic riverside walks and strolls along the coast.
If you work in South West England but want to live in Wales, this town at the western end of Severn Bridge could be for you. Popular among commuters to Bristol, as well as other places across the border and parts of South Wales, don’t miss the stunning family homes for sale at Brunel Quarter.
Estyn rankings of best schools in Wales
|School||Estyn Rating||Date of Inspection|
|Birchgrove Primary||Excellent||January 2020|
|Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Hamadryad||Excellent||February 2020|
|Nant Y Parc Primary School||Excellent||December 2019|
|Rhydypenau Primary School||Excellent||March 2018|
|St Julian's Primary School||Excellent||October 2018|
|Cardiff High School||Excellent||March 2019|
|Cowbridge Comprehensive School||Excellent||April 2019|
|Olchfa School||Excellent||February 2018|
|The Bishop Of Llandaff C.I.W. High School||Excellent||February 2018|
|Ysgol Bryngwyn School||Excellent||May 2017|
Best places to move to be close to nature in Wales
Lying on the south coast of Wales within Swansea Bay, this picturesque town is a great place to search for beachfront property in the UK. As well as the benefits of moving to the seaside and a selection of sandy beaches nearby, Port Talbot is also close to various country parks and the spectacular Afan Forest Park.
Surrounded by the lovely Carmarthenshire countryside, this former coal-mining town has proven extremely popular since the Coronavirus pandemic began. Properties are affordable and offer superb access to the Brecon Beacons, the coast and Gower AONB.
Buying in Wales’ towns & cities
If transport links are your priority, you can rest assured connections in Wales are some of the best in the UK. The M4 motorway heads west from the English border past Newport and Cardiff to Swansea, while the A55 expressway connects Holyhead and Bangor with Flintshire.
Transport for Wales operates all mainland services within Wales. The network covers the entire country and has routes across the border into different parts of England. Services are most prevalent in the south, with regular services from Newport to Cardiff taking just 10 minutes. Swansea is around 50 minutes from the capital.
Wherever this property guide in Wales UK takes you, don’t miss the Welsh Help to Buy offer, allowing you to purchase your new home with only a 5% deposit.
Buying your home in Newport
Offering a superb location on the south coast close to Cardiff and the border with England, Newport is a port city at the mouth of the River Usk. Whether you’re looking for a cash purchase or shared ownership, Newport property prices rose by more than 25% between 2016 and 2021.
Royal Oak Hill
Royal Oak Hill is one of Wales’ most desirable parts of town to live in, where property prices increased by more than 25% between 2016 and 2021.
Just over 10 miles east of Newport, this market town lies at the western end of the Prince of Wales Bridge. If you’d like to take advantage of excellent links to nearby cities like Bristol, Cardiff and Newport, our family homes at Nant Y Castell site could be for you.
Buying your home in Cardiff
As the Welsh capital and the country’s biggest city, Cardiff’s properties are always in demand. Packed with history, great culture, top-performing schools and lots of exciting things to do for the whole family, you can find Cardiff homes in various attractive areas.
This northern suburb boasts some of the most in-demand housing in Wales. Local house prices rose by more than 50% between 2011 and 2021, which promise short- and long-term investments.
If you prefer living right on the edge of town, this outer suburb is another desirable neighbourhood to consider. Five miles from the city centre and with fantastic access to the surrounding countryside, average prices in Radyr increased by more than 20% between 2016 and 2021.
Buying your home in Swansea
Approximately 40 miles west of Cardiff, Swansea is Wales’ second-largest city by urban population. Lying within an eponymous bay that plays host to a selection of sandy beaches, the city has an array of waterfront attractions, cultural highlights and excellent schools.
Taking up the western end of Swansea Bay, the picturesque Mumbles is a great place to buy a home. Whether you’re going for walks around the headland and nature reserve, relaxing on the beach or playing a round of golf, the area is also conveniently located for Swansea Airport.
Around five miles to the west of the Mumbles, this desirable village enjoys an attractive location on the Gower Peninsula. Walking distance to numerous beaches and delightful bays, the Gower AONB is also right on your doorstep and great for outdoor families.
Buying your home in NeathNeath is another spot that’s ideal for families who enjoy spending time outdoors. Close to Gnoll Country Park, Aberavon Beach and Aberdulais Falls, as well as the vast Afan Forest Park, local property prices in Neath grew by 25% between 2016 and 2016.
Lying in the shadow of Mynydd Drumau, a mountain that rises to nearly 300 metres, this picturesque village has a lot to offer. Found on the way to Swansea from Neath, house prices in Skewen saw an increase of over 40% from 2011 to 2021.
Bridgend is found 15 miles from Neath, but it’s a town well worth considering if you’re looking at this part of South Wales. Conveniently located for both Cardiff and Swansea, local house prices increased by around 40% between 2011 and 2021.
Buying your home in Barry
With a prime position on the south coast of Wales, Barry is less than nine miles from Cardiff city centre and a popular commuter town. Kids will love the beachfront pleasure park. Property prices rose by approximately 50% from 2011 to 2021.
If you want to be close to Cardiff Airport for work or leisure, this coastal village could be what you’re after. Just the other side of Porthkerry Country Park from Barry, local house prices were up more than 20% from 2016 to 2021.
Another few miles west along the coast, St Athan’s property market has seen similar levels of growth to its neighbours. Thanks to wonderful developments such as Parc Fferm Wen, this is an exciting place to buy a new home.
Buying your home in Wrexham
Close to many of North Wales’ top attractions, including Snowdonia, Wrexham also offers great access to North West England and places like Chester. Whether you’re climbing nearby mountains, exploring Alyn Waters Country Park or browsing the local market, the town also has a wide selection of schools to choose from.
Local house prices in Wrexham rose by more than 15% between 2016 and 2021, with our Kingsbourne development adding extra value to the area.