Ever since the news of the removal of the bridge tolls was announced, property prices in our little corner of South Wales have increased. In some cases - quite dramatically.
We’ve all heard reports and rumours of the effects of the abolishment of the toll on the demand on houses in the area. In most cases address how Bristol-buyers have been heading over the Severn in search of value for money, or for a slice of the good life – and very often both.
In 2016 we decided to advertise all of our properties in various Bristol property publications like Bristol Property Live and Bristol Life. In 2017 nearly half of all property enquiries were coming from Bristol buyers. In 2018 following the confirmation of the abolishment of the tolls we doubled our advertising efforts over there in line with the demand we were seeing as the enquiries from the other side now made up over half of all property enquiries.
Early on, we had investors and savvy would-be buyers looking to get in before the prices rise too high. Since then we’ve had first time buyers who have been priced out of the Bristol market, we’ve had retirees looking for peace and quiet away from the city, but the most animated bunch of buyers, without a doubt, have been young and growing families. These young families usually fall into one of two camps:
Need space. These buyers may have another child on the way and need another bedroom and usually more outside space. These buyers are usually looking for newer homes with good transport links.
Want space. These buyers have seen how much further their money will go over here and have realised that a move in this directed may offer that slice of the good life that they’ve always wanted.. They often want a character home with good view, and a bit of ground, often for some chickens or for another dog!
The Bristol property market saw a huge amount of growth in recent years, and whilst this has now slowed a lot of buyers have been left ‘priced out’ of their own local market. Compared to what’s on offer in Bristol a lot of properties on this side are actually way under-budget to a lot of Bristol based house hunters. Therefore if buyers were up against a handful of other buyers looking to buy the same house, they had little issue with offering over the guide price in order to secure it as their money was still going further. Simple supply vs demand that resulted in properties with several bidders going to ‘best and final offers’ which saw record prices being achieved.
This 4 bedroom detached family home was on the market in the summer of 2018 for £310,000. Of the 14 viewers, 9 came from Bristol, 4 were local and the other was from near London. The property sold for £315,000.
This 3 bedroom detached cottage in St Braivels was on the marketin the summer of 2018, also for £310,000. Of the 11 viewers, 4 came from Bristol, 5 were local on the others were from further afield. The property sold for £331,700. It’s worth noting that this property sold in the summer of 2016 for £252,500. That’s an increase of 27% in two years, with only slight cosmetic improvement in between.
In some cases, property prices in the area have risen by more than 1% per month, with parts of Newport reported to have risen by 15% in the last year. The most effected properties that we have seen have been family properties between £300,000 and £400,000. That being said we have seen an impressive - if a little less dramatic - uplift across the entire price spectrum.
Now that the tolls have been completely scrapped, with booths removed to allow for free-flowing traffic, with no need to reach for your wallet each time, time will tell how property prices will continue to be effected.
With no barrier – physically, financially or psychologically - the lure of value for money and the search for the good life will no-doubt continue to send Bristol buyers our way and we will continue to advertise all of our properties on both sides of the water.
To find out what effect the abolishment of the tolls may have had on your property please get in touch or arrange a free valuation.