The Welsh Government has announced £174.5m of funding to help home-buyers in Wales get on the property ladder.

‘Help to Buy’ Cymru is expected to launch by the end of this year and will follow a similar scheme that has been running in England since April.

The shared-equity scheme, designed to help the housing market and construction industries, will enable buyers who can only afford small deposits to purchase new build homes in highly desirable areas such as Penarth and Cardiff Bay.

The scheme allows those looking to move onto the property ladder to do so with a 5% deposit combined with a loan for 20% of the purchase price of the property from the Government which is interest-free for the first five years.

The benefits of the scheme mean that customers who can afford the repayments will be able to get high value mortgages (80-95%) on a range of houses up to the value of £600,000.

There have been concerns that this new offering may result in increased house prices, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has suggested that an annual cap should be set at 5% to prevent the market from encouraging buyers to overstretch themselves for fear of missing out.

However, for those people who have been deliberating over a property move, ‘Help to Buy’ could offer the right opportunity to purchase a larger home or move to a more desirable area with good schools or lower crime rates. Unlike many existing schemes, ‘Help to Buy’ Cymru will also be available to home movers, who meet the relevant eligibility criteria, as well as first-time-buyers. This is good news because, as people move on to larger homes it also frees up more properties that are suitable for first-time-buyers.

Tony Jones, managing director of ACJ Properties, said:

“Prospective buyers who are looking for their new home in Penarth, Cardiff or Barry and want to take advantage of the scheme should start preparing now. Check your finances to make sure you are in the best possible position for when ‘Help to Buy’ comes into place.

“Make sure you do your research and understand the requirements of the scheme and get advice from a good reputable agent.”


Average monthly rents in England and Wales are close to reaching their all-time high, according to a recent report.

The national property survey has found that the average UK rent price rose to £743 in August – a monthly rise of 0.7%. This falls just £1 short of the record high of £744 a month in October 2012.

The survey, which tracked rent prices in the 12 months to August 2013, revealed an increase of 1.3% from the same month in 2012.


Although London saw the highest rent increases with prices up 4.8% year-on-year, Wales saw the second highest jump with a rise of 2.3% bringing Welsh rents up to an average of £561.

With 12% of people in Wales living in privately rented accommodation, this will impact on a significant section of the Welsh population, particularly in highly desirable areas such as Cardiff and Penarth where rental demand is even higher.

Tony Jones, managing director of ACJ Properties, said:

“Throughout 2013, rent inflation had been easing off following the launch of government schemes to help households onto the property ladder. However, many prospective buyers are continuing to rent whist saving up for the large deposits required to take that first step into home ownership.

“The increase in average rental prices is good news for Cardiff and Penarth landlords, who can expect a better return over the next year.

“Whist tenants may be concerned about these figures, it is not all bad news. The increase still falls behind the current inflation rate of 2.7%.

“For those who continue in rented accommodation, it is important to find an accredited landlord, who will provide tenants with a legitimate tenancy agreement suited to their needs and requirements.”