People looking to sell houses in South East Wales are hanging on for a boom in prices once tolls on the Severn Bridge are scrapped.
Bruton Knowles believe an influx of buyers from across the Bridge will boost prices – especially in the East Newport-Chepstow-Monmouth triangle.
Stuart Randall from the Cardiff office said: “This area hasn’t enjoyed great connectivity while the tolls were in place, but we are predicting a sea change once they come down in 2018 and then scrapped altogether in 2019.
“We are expecting the focus of work for mortgage valuers will be concentrated in the territory north and east of the Bryn Glas tunnels while heavy traffic levels at this historic pinch point are likely to prove a deterrent for people thinking of venturing further West.
“With property and land values being more affordable than in Greater Bristol and the West of England, many people will be eyeing up potential places to re-locate, particularly as the bridge tolls were viewed as being a huge barrier to movement.”
Stuart was commenting on latest house price index figures which revealed growth of 3.3 per cent in Wales – well ahead of the national average of 0.9 per cent.
The wealthy Vale of Glamorgan has seen the biggest annual increase of any unitary authority, rising by an astonishing 9.6 per cent, while price growth in Caerphilly was up 8 per cent.
He added: “These figures are supported by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which is also predicting strong growth in house prices in the area around Monmouth.
“Reducing then removing the tolls altogether will allow more people to live here and commute to and from places such as North Bristol, South Gloucestershire or even further along the M4 corridor.
“This greater demand will result in a corresponding hike in prices, which will be bad news for first time buyers.”
Stuart is concerned that the concentration of activity in what he’s billed the Chepstow Triangle will deflect investment away from the valleys. And without improvements to transport infrastructure he fears these areas could miss out altogether on the anticipated bonanza.
Stuart said: “The inadequate road network serving the Valleys will leave these areas at a distinct disadvantage compared to the fast-developing hotspots around Chepstow, Monmouth and Est of Newport. Without significant improvements to the infrastructure it is difficult to see how this imbalance will be addressed any time soon.”