The value of an average home in Wales has broken the £100,000 mark for the first time ever, according to figures from Wales’ Principality Building Society.

The Society’s latest house price survey (to the end of December 2003) shows the average house in Wales has increased in value over the past year from £83,246 to £105, 538, a leap of over 26%.

Prices in Swansea rose most steeply, up 36.7% from £102,362 to £143,140, but price increases in Cardiff were almost matched this, rising 30.4% in the twelve month period.

‘This is a dramatic increase and evidence that the Welsh housing market is amongst the most vibrant in the UK,’ said Principality Chief Executive Peter Griffith. ‘It is noticeable that over the past year the gap with the south of England has narrowed.’

‘The overriding reasons for the large increases in Wales during 2003 are the low cost and availability of mortgages, together with reasonable levels of job security,’ he continued.

‘Segments of Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and north east Wales markets remain exceedingly strong and we continue to see high demand for properties in these areas.’

The market is expected to continue to be healthy in Wales, although such steep increases are not expected to continue far into 2004.