Dylan Williams recently gave an interview to Estate Agent News on why second home sales are booming in Swansea and the Gower:
The ‘second home’ market in South West Wales is booming this summer – an uncertain Brexit is leading to a growth in staycations, and the promise of a free Bridge crossing from the end of the year has seen demand rise in the unspoilt Gower Peninsula.
The crisp white sands set against a backdrop of beautiful green scenery have always attracted visitors – especially being just two hours drive from Bristol. However, the area is now attracting buyers who are investing in home-grown property rather than buying second homes abroad.
Stretching 15 miles across and six miles from top to bottom, the Gower offers remote beauty within an easy drive of the up and coming City of Swansea, which sits like a gateway at it’s Eastern edge.
No more the ‘ugly, lovely town’ described by Dylan Thomas, Swansea boasts an excellent University, a buzzing attractive Marina and Waterside culture and a growing number of restaurants and bars with a fantastic reputation. Property in the city remains very affordable and marina space in Swansea and nearby Burry Port costs a snip of Southern England’s mooring fees, so lifestyle property here is highly desirable.
A pleasant drive along the seafront brings you to the thriving and popular Mumbles resort and beaches, with the Mumbles Mile, Bracelet Bay and Langland Bay all being home to upmarket restaurants. Caswell Bay is also popular.
Caswell village is an increasingly popular choice for discerning buyers, with its classic church, olde-worlde butcher’s shop and two ‘local’s pubs’, serving great ales, superb wines and affordable, delicious home cooked food, a lovely golf course and of course, easy access to local beaches – but it’s not cheap!
The Mumbles and surrounding areas offer upmarket Swansea living, where many local stars have made their home. Of course, estate agents boast of huge sales with multi-million price tickets to Hollywood stars – Catherine Zeta Jones has a home here, and local horror film Director, Andrew Jones, lives and films here too – and you’ll find many Swansea entrepreneurs living here too.
It’s still possible to find a modest home in and around Mumbles for around £200,000 but for those looking at high-end luxury properties, why not consider travelling a little further into Gower?
Just ten minutes away, a world of lush green countryside, quiet beaches and beautiful woodland awaits you – alongside some real property bargains.
Gower’s most westerly point is the aptly-named Worm’s Head, a serpent-shaped island in Rhossili Bay, linked to the mainland by a causeway. The popular area boasts an award-winning 4 mile stretch of sand, which even on busy days in the height of Summer, never seems to reach capacity – and as you can see, there are plenty of ancient shipwrecks to explore on the sand. At just £355,000 this nearby barn conversion is a steal.
Travel to the other end of the beach, and you will find Surfer’s Paradise Llangennith, with affordable campsites – and a real lifestyle business property on offer for £1,050,000, with a livery, 3 holiday cottages, lots of land and plenty of scope for further development.
The most southerly points are Port Eynon and Oxwich bays, both wide, sweeping stretches of sand, that remain totally unspoilt. As a rule, Gower beaches never feel really busy (although the roads and car parks leading to them may do!) and there’s so much to see and do that every day seems like a new discovery.
History and landscape blend effortlessly here. The quiet ruins of Pennard Castle are lovely, but look past them and you’ll experience the stunning scenery of Three Cliffs Bay.
Many visit Gower for the ancient standing stones, including Arthur’s Stone (Maen Ceti), a Neolithic burial tomb dating back to 2500 B.C., protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882. However, we challenge you not to get distracted by the views along the way! You can learn more about the history of the area and enjoy a glass of locally produced cider at the Gower Heritage Centre.
Move to North Gower and the landscape changes as rocky, estuary scenery with swathes of marshland awaits you. Penclawdd, known for its cockle industry, marks the northern tip. A little further along the Estuary leads you to Bynea, a picturesque route to the outskirts of Llanelli. This 5-bedroomed detached home, on sale for £550,000 comes with outbuildings which could easily be converted into holiday accommodation subject to planning.
Inland Gower offers windswept hills which roll and fall, with a very rural feel. Gower is only home to about 10,000 people in villages, hamlets and clusters of cliff-top homes, with few living inland. Driving at night, you can feel very alone after all the visitors have returned home, with long stretches of quiet roads crossing silent, sweeping pasture land – and it’s a great place to view the stars.
Many who come looking for ‘a place for the weekend’ find themselves living in the area full time, trading the fast pace of city life for a quiet, rural lifestyle business – and even beyond the Gower, moving into Carmarthenshire, the scenery is still stunning and there are bargains to be had.
Gower’s leading estate agent, Rees Richards, describes this area as the ‘land of dreams’. Valuer Dylan Williams says:
“I love managing properties in South West Wales. It isn’t just second homes, it covers every aspect of the property market. One minute, I will be talking to a farmer who wants to auction or rent land for pasture, the next I will be giving a potential buyer a tour of the remote farm he wants to buy to start up his dream business, or develop their own smallholding and live off the land. Buying Gower homes are often a dream – and I’m the Estate Agent that helps to make someone’s dream a reality, while travelling through this scenery every day.”
Rees Richards have properties ‘with a view’ starting from just £175,000 for a 3 to 4 bedroomed detached smallholding in nearby Pontardulais (which doesn’t even incur stamp duty in Wales for those not buying a second home!).
Alternatively, for the price of a flat in an upmarket part of London, you could buy this Gower 6 bed 14th Century Detached Farmhouse for £1600,000, with generous sized lawned garden, modern farm outbuildings, courtyard range of traditional and modern buildings (some of which may have potential for conversion into residential use subject to planning), alongside sound pasture/arable land, an extensive area of marsh saltings (perfect for raising lamb), a small area of woodland and some rough grazing, in all about 385.40 acres.
As sales continue to boom in beautiful Gower, second home bargains continue to be had – but we guarantee that before long, buyers will want to stay longer!