Thursday, 13 April 2023

Are we in the property doldrums? Well, eh...

Many times we have noted the increasing number of houses bought by English or foreign people for holidaying purposes. In fact we have stayed in such a property recently. No matter what we think about this, one fact remains and that is local people find it more and more difficult to find property to purchase or rent. On top of that it also means that if these properties are close to each other viz. Aberaeron in North Wales, the village or town will be virtually deserted in wintertime. Another fact that has not been discussed widely is local shops have much less footfall and sales have plummeted. Shops in such places find it difficult to maintain their services and some have already closed down. As I have family across the water I heard something recently that worried me. It was overheard in a golf club in Holland where a group of players was discussing having bought ‘cheap’ property in Wales for the purpose of maximising their profits. If this is true and I cannot see any reason why it should not be, foreign buyers are now buying up much cheaper houses abroad thanks to the lower values and standards of Welsh property. Having done a quick look at house prices and levels of salaries in Holland you will quickly note the disparity! But applauding this investment is not the right thing to do, it just exacerbates the problem!

Yet nothing seems to move our various governments, the national one or the Welsh. It does not bother anyone yet the problems will not go away and in reality will worsen. I recently read on the news that at last some councils are taking steps to curtail holiday properties. Meaning I think, curtail the actual number in a locality. Not before time. The other thing that needs looking at is the influx of English people who are simply retiring in Wales because it is cheaper. I cannot blame them for doing that but as long as we understand it will kill off the language and finally subsume Wales into England proper. Forget the idea of independence because the English I spoke to haven’t got the foggiest about it. To them Wales doesn’t have any meaning. Mae’n nhw trio dysgu’r iaith ond methu o bryd i’w gilydd!

The afore-mentioned has also highlighted the exodus of English people to the Netherlands (Holland) for better salaries. In fact loads of businesses have moved there because of Brexit. It may be said that perhaps this was foreseen and if not, our government was pretty lax at the time. I supported Brexit and still do, not because I am anti-European but because of the enormous waste by the European Union thanks to their ever growing attempts to centralise everything. In particular the economy and financial governance. So, many English are now residing in Holland and earning generally much more than their counterparts here. As a result they have seen the possibilities in property, especially in Wales. Frankly this should be stopped immediately. No buyers from foreign lands to be allowed to buy property in Wales. More, I also believe that no-one NOT living in Wales should be able to buy property here and that would include English persons, pensioners included. It should have become obvious that the playing field is not equal! So, let’s straighten it out!

Ed: It seems that government is beginning to think about it. In England at least. Hopefully it will bear fruit, but don't hold your breath!

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