What’s occurring? Barry in Wales identified as hottest property market

Barry in South Wales has been identified as a top property hotspot for growth in house sellers’ asking prices over the past year.

The average price tag on a home in the seaside town, which is within commuting distance to Cardiff, has jumped by 10.6% annually, according to property website Rightmove.

It said the average asking price in Barry, a setting for the BBC sitcom Gavin And Stacey, has jumped by more than a fifth over the past five years and now stands at £191,050.

People relaxing by beach huts in Barry
People relaxing by beach huts in Barry (Ben Birchall/PA)

Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “It’s great to see Barry named as the country’s hottest property market right now.

“It’s a great tourist spot thanks to the popularity of Gavin And Stacey, and not forgetting Barry also boasts some quite stunning coastal views.”

Some recent reports have suggested that the scrapping of the Severn tolls linking South Wales with the South West of England will encourage more home buyers to look for properties on the Welsh side of the border – where they may find more value than they would in England.

Andrew Fenton, sales director at Vale of Glamorgan-based Chris Davies estate agents, said: “Barry is the place to be so I’m not at all surprised by Rightmove’s findings.

“Property prices here compared with Cardiff and its suburbs are comparatively reasonable.”

He said the area has seen a lot of economic growth and has good schools.

Mr Fenton continued: “I think even five years ago, Barry was popular with home-hunters, but a major factor recently has been the abolition of the Severn Bridge tolls.

“Since then, people in Newport have been priced out of their own town by investors from Bristol and what have you, so those people have been coming to Barry.

“But we all love the Gavin And Stacey connection, why wouldn’t we? It certainly makes a difference, there’s no question of that.”

Rightmove’s study of asking price movements across Britain excluded London.

In second place, Wednesbury in the West Midlands has seen property prices jump by 10.1% over the past year. It was followed by Llandudno, Kidderminster and Leigh in Greater Manchester.

At the other end of the spectrum, asking prices in Esher in Surrey have seen the biggest fall over the past year – with a 6.7% decrease pushing the average price tag below the £1 million mark.

A year ago, the average asking price in Esher was £1,026,284 but now it is £958,012.

Here are the top five property hotspots, according to Rightmove, with the average asking price and the year-on-year increase:
1. Barry, £191,050, 10.6%
2. Wednesbury, £151,667, 10.1%
3. Llandudno, £212,400, 10.1%
4. Kidderminster, £200,343, 10.0%
5. Leigh, £137,614, 9.7%

And here are the five places with the biggest decreases in asking prices over the past year in Rightmove’s study, with the average asking price and the year-on-year decrease:
1. Esher, £958,012, minus 6.7%
2. Banbury, £248,462, minus 6.6%
3. Leatherhead, £566,625, minus 6.3%
4. Sandhurst, £409,370, minus 5.5%
5. Woking, £491,007, minus 5.1%