Newport's property market is the fastest moving in Britain, with the number of available properties up for sale dropping by a third over the past year, according to new research.
The upcoming removal of the tolls on the bridges across the River Severn between England and Wales at the end of the year has led to a surge in buyers flocking to the Welsh city. Priced-out Bristolians, who face average asking prices of £300,000, are also making their way west in the hope of finding affordable homes.
According to property portal Rightmove, Newport estate agents are reporting lengthy buyer waiting lists, and demand has led to a 37pc annual drop in available properties for sale and a £12,000 uplift in asking prices.
The time it takes to secure a buyer in Newport has fallen from 76 days to just 52 over the past year – a 32pc drop.
This makes the university city home to the fastest moving property market in the UK, beating Oldham, Scunthorpe, and Rochdale, which rank in second, third and fourth place respectively, on Rightmove's list of top 10 fastest markets.
Across Britain, the total number of available properties for sale is up 2pc compared to this time last year, while the average time to secure a buyer is 66 days, down from 67 days in 2017.
Rightmove's Miles Shipside said the demand in Newport was clearly taking its toll on the number of properties estate agents have available to offer buyers, making it "very much a sellers’ market in Newport right now".
Local estate agents say that they are selling houses "every single day, often within hours, as soon as a property goes live", Mark Roberts, director at Roberts Estate Agents, said: "Buyers from Bristol are being able to sell a small terraced house and move to Newport to a four-bed detached house for the same price, so I can see this level of activity and the stock shortages continuing for at least another 12 months."
Estate agent Nathan James Reeks expects that within the next six to nine months "you won’t be able to get a property for under £250,000 within a 10-mile radius of the bridges".
Around 25 million journeys across the River Severn bridges – the M48 Severn Bridge and the M4 Second Severn Crossing – take place every year.
The decision to scrap the tolls, which cost £5.60 for ordinary cars and up to £16.70 for larger vehicles, could allow savings of around £1,400 per year for commuters, according to a Welsh Government study commissioned in 2012.
Source: The Telegraph