The opportunity to work from home and a desire for a change in lifestyle are thought to be behind a surge in demand for residential properties and smallholdings in West Wales – leading to a rise in lending applications at Swansea Building Society’s Carmarthen branch.
Figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) analysing property transactions and prices in the UK and Wales have shown a dramatic increase across all counties in Wales. However, Carmarthenshire showed the strongest increase over the last 12 months, rising by 22.7% to an average of £183,129 in the year to March 2021, compared to £149,193 in March 2020.
Demand for residential properties throughout Wales has never been higher, with record prices occurring as a result. The change to homeworking for many during the pandemic, along with the chance to reassess lifestyle, is thought to be behind the desire by an increasing number of people to move to a more rural location.
Of all property types in Wales, detached houses have been the most in demand, and subsequently show the biggest annual growth, rising by 12.4% in the year to March 2021 to £283,000. This has been closely followed by a similar boost in demand from people looking to make a change from city living and get back to the land by purchasing a smallholding.
As a result, Swansea Building Society’s Carmarthen branch has experienced a huge rise in mortgage applications for properties in the area, particularly smallholdings, a category in which the team have extensive experience
This increased demand has necessitated the Society’s expansion of its mortgage team in Carmarthenshire. Paula John takes on the new role of mortgage adviser at the Society, with the remit of helping customers in West Wales select the best mortgage for their individual needs.
John has worked for Swansea Building Society for the past 5 years and brings to the new role more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector.
As well as being able to help more people acquire homes in West Wales, the Society’s expertise and flexible approach to funding for agricultural property has seen it become the go-to place for those seeking to gain a mortgage for smallholdings.
Sioned Jones, Swansea Building Society’s area manager for West Wales, said:
“Each application is considered very much on an individual basis, and we will endeavour to confirm whether we can assist at an early stage. Acreage is not an issue, and we are particularly adept in dealing with the financial background of professional and other self-employed individuals.
“Demand for properties in West Wales has increased dramatically during the pandemic, so it’s great to be able to welcome Paula to her new role of mortgage advisor within the Society. Her skills and expertise will help even more individuals and families achieve their ambitions of owning their own home in the area.”