Carol Peett, property search agent from County Homesearch (www.wefindhouses.com) says, ‘The market has gone totally mad here in south west Wales, which is completely bucking the trend. I am under siege with requests for homes with sea views in the mid to top-end markets, from about £400,000 to £1 million.’
Most of the purchasers Mrs Peett is dealing with in Pembrokeshire tend to be cash buyers, who are not particularly worried about the credit crunch. ‘They come from London and the Home Counties and have got it in their heads that now is a good time to buy. Most are aged 40-plus and they want a second home where eventually, they can retire fulltime.’
Mrs Peett suggests that buying inland can provide many bargains, but most people are keener on being near the coast with watery vistas you can expect to add on another £100,000 to the price tag.
‘People are starting to realise it is 35% cheaper in Pembrokeshire than in trendier Cornwall, which has been buoyed up by the Rick Stein-effect. It is more accessible, quicker to get to than Cornwall (four hours from London), less spoilt and there are a number of beautiful beaches.’
Values in Pembrokeshire as a whole have grown by 3.6% over the last quarter, compared to Cornwall where prices rose by only 0.4%, according to the Land Registry. An average detached house costs £238,866 in Pembrokeshire, while a similar Cornish home costs considerably more at £320,048.
Prices in places within the Pembrokeshire National Park such as Tenby have witnessed an annual rise of 10%.
‘People are only just discovering what good value properties are in Pembrokeshire. A Georgian terrace with six double bedrooms and steps down to the beach costs £845,000, while a big family house with several of acres of land is in the region of £750,000 to £800,000,’ adds Mrs Peett.
Currently, Savills Telford (01952 239500 www.savills.co.uk) is selling a nine-bedroom historic country house, Noyadd Trefawr, with four reception rooms, six bathrooms, pool and separate three-bed accommodation, all in 11.45 acres in a wooded valley.