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Wales is a small country bordering England to the west with a population of nearly 3.5 million. It has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Mount Snowdown, its highest summit. Wales’ natural beauty does not go unnoticed, with its beaches frequently featuring in the lists of the best in the world.
Over the years, wales has seen a huge turn around in fortunes from its decline after the industrial era. Post-industrial times have seen property prices increase dramatically with Wales seeing the largest annual house price growth in the year to December 2020 out of the four UK nations. With the country prospering in recent times and property prices remaining some of the cheapest in the UK, it is certainly worth considering when investing.
Cardiff, the capital of Wales and the world’s closest capital to London. A city with a population of close to 400,000 people, whilst the metropolitan area has 1.1 million residents. Cardiff has all the capital city amenities you would expect, with fabulous shopping districts centred on Queen Street and Cardiff’s famous Victorian arcades, plus plenty of trendy bars and restaurants. Cardiff is also a hotspot for sport and culture with attractions including Cardiff Castle, the National Museum, Cardiff and the St. Fagan’s National Museum of History. The 74,000-seater Principality Stadium is the home of Welsh rugby union and hosts other major sporting events and major music concerts. Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium hosted the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, a match viewed by almost a billion people worldwide.
Like many UK cities Cardiff suffered from a decline in the 70s and 80s when heavy industry was on its knees and much of the Cardiff docklands were demolished. However, in recent years the Cardiff economy has prospered hugely, with some of the fastest growth in the country. The city’s recent development has seen internationally competitive clusters emerge in the financial, creative, life sciences and advanced manufacturing sectors, with some of the UK’s leading businesses in these sectors calling Cardiff home. The city also attracts an impressive 20 million visitors annually, firmly placing it as one of the UK’s best tourist cities.
Cardiff is also home to a large student population with three universities based in the city, namely Cardiff University, The University of South Wales and Cardiff metropolitan University. With low house prices, student HMO’s have long been extremely good investments for property investors.
The future for Cardiff is also looking bright, with massive regeneration underway and in the pipeline. Amongst those, is the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal between Cardiff area local authorities and the Government to invest £1.2 billion in the area. The project aims to deliver 25,000 new jobs and attract £4 billion of private sector investment. BBC Wales and HMRC are both establishing large new offices in the city, bringing with them 4000 new staff to the city centre region. Furthermore, there is the £500 million redevelopment of Cardiff Bay which will be based around a 15,000-seat indoor arena with new restaurants, bars and residential areas.
Other key regeneration schemes include the redevelopment and investment into Cardiff transport. Recent Cardiff investment of £1 billion into the South Wales metro has revolutionised the city’s internal transport system. The metro has made commuting in Cardiff far easier and only adds to the lure of working in the city. Furthermore, there have been numerous efforts to invest in Cardiff’s transport links to the rest of the country as well as the abolition of the tolls on the Severn Bridge in 2017.
With such huge regeneration across the city, Cardiff’s property market has certainly profited. Property prices have risen by 240% over the last two decades which is way above the national average. Despite such large price growth, property remains very affordable compared to the UK average. Coupled with a strong rental market, certain Cardiff postcodes have some of the best rental yields in the country. It is no wonder why investors are becoming increasingly interested in the Welsh capital.
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