Despite the risk of houses falling into the sea before 2054, house prices have rocketed up in a North Wales village amid a surge in demand for new homes.
Residents of the seaside village of Fairbourne in Gwynedd could face having to evacuate their homes in the next 30 years due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. But house prices have shot up by 35% in the last year, according to Rightmove.
In the years leading up to 2054, homes will be levelled and gas pipes and electricity pylons will be dismantled. Moreover, residents could be asked to contribute up to thousands of pounds to have their homes razed.
Compensation will not be offered to the 400+ homeowners living in the area when it is eventually decommissioned, and from 2054 the Welsh government will spend no more money on maintaining the village’s seawall. More than 98% of Fairbourne’s residents have signed up for local flood warnings.
But house hunters have been snapping up properties in Fairbourne, with all purchasers thought to be cash buyers as few lenders will offer mortgages due to the area’s uncertain future.
Why are Fairbourne's House Prices on the Rise?
The desire to own second homes is thought to be a key driver of rising house prices, alongside an increase in holiday let buyers and recent retirees who might not have to worry about their investment prospects.
The property boom heightened at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, as Fairbourne thrived amid the interest in staycations, and this has risen from strength to strength.
In November 2021 a two-bedroom, semi-detached house in Belgrave Road fetched £129,950, having sold for £45,000 in 2002, Rightmove says.
Remarkably, house prices in Fairbourne had slumped by 40% in 2014 after residents discovered they were to become Britain’s first “climate refugees”, but the predicted further downward spiral did not end up happening.
Arthof, a neighbouring community in the area, has also experienced an upturn in house prices, with sold prices up 71% in 2021.
Wales was 2021’s price hotspot, according to Rightmove, in which average prices rose 10.5% compared to 2020, followed by the South West (9.6%) and the South East (9.1%).
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Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.