The Neath property landscape is constantly evolving, shaped by societal, economic and cultural factors.
The type of properties people have bought in the last few years since Lockdown One has undergone some notable changes, reflecting shifting preferences and lifestyle choices.
This article explores the transformations in property purchasing trends over the last two years compared to the long-term, almost three-decade average, with a focus on Neath detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses and apartments.
Neath Detached Houses: A Shift Towards Modernity
Detached houses, long considered the epitome of homeownership, have witnessed a transformation in Neath buyer preferences. While they still hold significant appeal, particularly for Neath families seeking privacy and ample space, the demand for Neath detached properties in the last couple of years has decreased, when compared to the previous average of the last three decades. This shift started before lockdown and can be attributed to several factors, including changing demographics, the way people live, higher land costs and evolving lifestyles that prioritise convenience and urban living.
Between 1995 and 2020, 2,807 detached homes sold in the Neath area, representing 27.4% of all the property sales in those 26 years.
In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 195 detached homes sold in the Neath area, representing 18.5% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional drop of 32.5%.
Neath Semi-Detached Houses: Balancing Space and Affordability
Neath semi-detached houses have maintained a relatively stable position in the property market over the past three decades, striking a balance between the space offered by detached houses and the affordability of terraced houses. While their popularity has seen minor fluctuations, their appeal to both Neath families and young professionals looking for more spacious living arrangements remains consistent.
In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for well-presented mature Neath extended semi-detached houses as homeowners increasingly seek larger properties that accommodate work-from-home setups and additional living spaces for multi-generational living. This trend suggests a growing emphasis on both comfort and adaptability within the modern Neath home.
Between 1995 and 2020, 3,548 semi-detached homes sold in the Neath area, representing 34.6% of all the property sales in those 26 years.
In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 403 semi-detached homes sold in the Neath area, representing 38.2% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional rise of 10.4%.
Neath Terraced Houses: Embracing Urban Living
Neath terraced houses have witnessed a resurgence in popularity with many new home builders utilising the modern ‘town house’ in a three-storey format. These houses in modern suburban areas provide a contemporary take on this traditional property type, attracting younger Neath buyers looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle without sacrificing space (as they are built over three floors).
Then we have the Victorian terraced home which offers a blend of affordability, convenience and a sense of community tracing its history back over 100+ years. Young professionals, couples and small families are attracted to the charm and character of these properties, the generous square footage and close to the town centre location, often means the need for a car is reduced.
Between 1995 and 2020, 3,644 terraced homes sold in the Neath area, representing 35.5% of all the property sales in those 26 years.
In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 434 terraced homes sold in the Neath area, representing 41.1% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional increase of 15.8%.
Neath Apartments: The Rise of Vertical Living
Perhaps the most significant transformation in property type preferences over the past three decades can be observed in the increased popularity of apartments in the UK. Rapidly rising land costs and a growing desire for low-maintenance living have propelled the demand for apartment living to new heights.
Apartments offer a range of benefits, including affordability, security, access to amenities and a lock-and-leave lifestyle. Millennials and young professionals are drawn to the convenience and vibrant urban environments that apartments often provide. Additionally, the growing focus on sustainable living and reduced carbon footprints has further fuelled the demand for high-density housing options. Also, the issue of cladding which has become a great worry is hopefully on its way to being sorted.
Between 1995 and 2020, 258 apartments sold in the Neath area, representing 2.5% of all the property sales in those 26 years.
In the last two years (2021 & 2022), 23 apartments sold in the Neath area, representing 2.2% of all the property sales in those 2 years, a proportional drop of 13.3%.
This is particularly interesting when we compare the Neath stats to the national picture. Detached houses have seen an increase in demand from 34% of sales a decade ago to 39% last year, semi-detached houses have maintained their appeal and increased from 26% to 28% in the last decade. Terraced houses have witnessed a drop from 26% a decade ago to 21% last year and finally apartments have slightly increased from 11% to 12%.
The property preferences in Neath have experienced notable shifts over the past two years compared to the long-term average of the last three decades. As Neath’s property landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial to analyse these shifting preferences to understand the needs and desires of potential Neath homeowners (and tenants).
Of course, detached houses remain a peak of home ownership, yet as the Neath market is adapting to cater to changing demographics, urbanisation and evolving lifestyles, this might start to change in the coming decade.
By recognising and responding to these trends, homeowners, buy-to-let landlords and planners and developers can ensure that Neath’s property market continues to thrive and meet the demands of the future.