Where Are the Cheapest Places to Live in Wales? A Guide
by Property Investments UKThe Property Investments UK editorial team have been researching and writing about the UK's property market for more than a decade.
Wales in known for its dynamic capital Cardiff, the scenic South Wales Valleys and Snowdonia. It’s less well known for its attractive cost of living. In this report we’ve crunched the numbers and found which are the cheapest places to live in Wales when it comes to the average cost to buy a home and the average cost to rent a home.
- Is Wales a Cheap Place to Live?
- The Average House Price
- Average Rent
- What Are the Most Expensive Places to Live in Wales?
- The Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in Wales
- So, Where are the Cheapest Places to Live in Wales?
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Is Wales a Cheap Place to Live?
Wales's living costs are generally much lower than the rest of the UK. While there are some more expensive price and rent hotspots most areas of Wales are very good value places to live whether you are buying a property or renting a property.
The Average House Price
The average house price in Wales is currently around £215,632. This compares with an average house price in England of £308,633.
For home buyers, the average house in Wales is around 30% cheaper than in England.
Renters in Wales will find they can save too. The average monthly rent in Wales is around £852 PCM. This compares with average monthly rents across the UK of £1,276 PCM according to the HomeLet Rental Index.
For renters, the average monthly rent in Wales is a third cheaper than in England.
What Are the Most Expensive Places to Live in Wales?
The most expensive places to live in Wales include parts of the capital Cardiff, parts of Monmouthshire and parts of North Wales. (In Cardiff the average house price is currently £263,035 and the average weekly rent is around £260 or just over £1,000 per month.)
The Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in Wales
Here are the top 10 cheapest places to live in Wales based on average housing costs:
Abertillery is in the Ebbw Fach Valley around 25 miles north of Cardiff. It has a population of around 11,600 people. Abertillery is historically in Monmouthshire but is now part of the Blaenau Gwent district.
The average property price in Abertillery (based on the NP13 postcode area) is just £120,714. Abertillery is amongst the top five cheapest places to buy in Wales. The average rent in Abertillery (NP13 postcode) is £150 per week. That means Abertillery is one of Wales's top ten cheapest places for rental costs.
Blaenau Ffestiniog, known locally as Stiniog, fringes Snowdonia in North Wales. It is part of the county of Gwynedd. The surrounding area includes villages such as Ffestiniog, Gellilydan, Maentwrog, Manod, Talwaenydd and Trawsfynydd.
Blaenau Ffestiniog is an ex-industrial town once famous for slate mining. It now has a growing visitor economy and is becoming known as a centre for adventure tourism.
Home buyers will find that the average property price in Blaenau Ffestiniog (based on the LL41 postcode area) is just £134,436. Blaenau Ffestiniog is the cheapest place to rent in Wales with renters here paying on average just £93 per week.
Fairbourne is in Gwynedd on the scenic west Wales coast, close to Barmouth and Dolgellau. Fairbourne is a seaside village and popular tourist spot, famous for its two-mile beach. (Potential residents should note that the village is at risk from coastal erosion, however.)
The average property price in Fairbourne and nearby Friog (based on the LL38 postcode area) is £160,676. For renters, the average rent in Fairbourne (LL38) is just £98. That makes Fairbourne the second cheapest place to rent in Wales.
Ferndale is in South Wales in the Rhondda Cynon Taf district and has a population of around 7,400. Ferndale is known as Glynrhedynog in Welsh. Other villages in the area include Blaenllechau, Maerdy, Penrhys, Pontygwaith, Stanleytown and Tylorstown.
Ferndale is the cheapest place to buy a house in Wales. The average property price in Ferndale (based on the CF43 postcode area) just tops £100k at £106,992 and house prices here start from around £49,000. The average rent in Ferndale (CF43) is £143 per week. That puts Ferndale amongst the top five cheapest places for renters in Wales.
Maesteg is in South Wales mid-way between Cardiff and Swansea. Maesteg is part of the Bridgend local authority area and the town has a population of around 18,000.
Maesteg is a one-time industrial town but is now mainly residential. It is a convenient place to live for those who work in Swansea, Port Talbot and Bridgend. Maesteg has its railway stations with services to destinations including Bridgend (24 minutes) and Cardiff (50 minutes).
Property prices in Maesteg start at around £45,000 and the average property price in the town (based on the CF34 postcode area which also includes Caerau, Llangynwyd and Nantyffyllon) is just £125,346. Maesteg is in the top ten cheapest places to buy in Wales. The average weekly rent in Maesteg (again the CF34 postcode) is £155 per week.
Merthyr Tydfil, often known as Merthyr for short, is one of the largest towns in South Wales with a population of around 43,000. Merthyr Tydfil is around 23 miles north of Cardiff. It is located close to the A460 and A465 roads making it convenient for those who travel around the region. Merthyr Tydfil has a train service to nearby towns and to Cardiff taking just under an hour.
Merthyr Tydfil is an ex-industrial town and has suffered from decline in the past but there are ambitious regeneration plans in progress. It is also becoming popular as a centre for walking, hiking, mountain biking and adventure sports.
Home buyers can find a place to buy in Merthyr for as little as £50,000 while the average property price in Merthyr Tydfil (based on the CF47 and CF48 postcode areas) is just £149,862. For those renting the average rent in Merthyr Tydfil (CF47 and CF48) stands at £156.50 per week.
Mountain Ash (Aberpennar in Welsh) is a town in South Wales and part of the Rhondda Canon Taf district. The area also covers Abercynon, Penrhiwceiber and Ynysboeth with a total population of around 11,500.
The Mountain Ash area is convenient for those who need to travel around the area. Cardiff can be reached by train in under 50 minutes and by road via the A4059 and A470 in around 40 minutes.
Mountain Ash is the third cheapest area in Wales for house buyers. House prices here (CF45 postcode area) are just £116,762 on average. Current rents in the area stand at £155 per week on average.
Pentre is close to Treorchy in the Rhondda Cynon Taf district of South Wales. Surrounding places include Gelli, Ton Pentre and Ystrad.
The average property price in Pentre (based on the CF41 postcode area) is just £130,343. That puts Pentre in the top ten cheapest places to buy a home in Wales. The average rent in Pentre is £153 weekly. That means the area is amongst the top ten cheapest places to rent in Wales too.
Tredegar is in the northern part of South Wales close to the Brecon Beacons National Park and is part of the Blaenau Gwent district.
Like many towns in the Welsh valleys, it is an ex-heavy industrial town with a rich industrial and cultural heritage but the modern day economy is based around light industry and services.
Tredegar benefits from good access to the A465 Heads of the Valleys road which provides quick travel around the area.
The average property price in Tredegar (based on the NP22 postcode area which also includes Rhymney) is just £141,682 and house prices start at around £70,000. On rents, the average weekly rent in Tredegar is £150. Tredegar is amongst the top ten cheapest places for rental costs in Wales.
Treorchy is in the South Wales valleys. It has a population of around 7,700 and surrounding places include Cwmparc, Blaencwm, Blaenrhondda, Treherbert and Ynyswen. Treorchy is part of the Rhondda Cynon Taf district.
The average property price in Treorchy (based on the CF42 postcode area) is just £123,106. That puts Treorchy in the top ten cheapest places to buy in Wales. For renters, the average rent in Treorchy (again CF42 postcode) is £155 weekly.
So, Where are the Cheapest Places to Live in Wales?
According to our latest research, and based on a comparison of prices and rents, the cheapest places to live in Wales are (in alphabetical order): Abertillery, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Fairbourne, Ferndale, Maesteg, Merthyr Tydfil, Mountain Ash, Pentre, Tredegar and Treorchy.