Why buy a house in Swansea

The second largest city in Wales lies on a 5 mile sweep of Swansea Bay and offers something for everyone.

There’s a rich cultural scene (Dylan Thomas was born here), lively nightlife and fantastic countryside.

The Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is on the doorstep, where you can enjoy coastal walks, surfing and stunning beaches.

And if that’s not enough, the seafront suburb of Mumbles was named one of the best places to live in the UK in 2020.¹

Swansea property

It's good to have an idea of what the property market is like where you're looking to buy.

Swansea offers a wide range of properties from cosy cottages, period villas, bungalows and detached seafront homes with hefty price tags.

Around 66% of properties are owner occupied, 19% social rented and 16% privately rented.²

Here’s a rundown of the number of properties in Swansea by property type:³

  • Detached - 18,600

  • Semi detached - 32,670

  • Terraced - 32,010

  • Flat/Maisonette - 20,320

  • Other - 740

Swansea house prices

The average property price in Swansea was £152,360 in January 2020 and £167,71 in January 2021, an increase of 10.1%.⁴

The cost of living in Swansea

Average annual full time earnings for Swansea are £24,922 compared to the UK average of £28,758.⁵

The cost of living in Swansea is 41% cheaper than London. Transportation is 50% less and entertainment is 47% less.⁶

Here are some examples of what things cost in Swansea: 

  • A regular cappuccino - £2.82

  • A pint of beer - £3.21

  • A monthly travel pass - £56

  • Gym membership per month - £30

  • Cinema ticket - £7

First time buyers in Swansea

Swansea’s a good choice if you’re a first time buyer.

The average price paid by a first time buyer in February 2021 was £153,019.

In Cardiff it was £196,804 and in London it was £429,391.³

In May 2021, a 2 bedroom house in Morriston that needed work was for sale at £40,000 and a modern studio apartment with city views was for sale at £57,000.

Learn more about first time buyers in our guide.

Buy to lets in Swansea

Swansea’s worth considering if you’re thinking of investing in a buy to let.

Prices are much cheaper than the national average. According to the Land Registry, the average property price in Swansea was £168,391 and £103,338 for a flat/maisonette in February 2021.

This was much less than the average property price of £180,038 in Wales (£119,946 for a flat/maisonette) the same month.³

The key to a successful buy to let is demand, and there are plenty of students at Swansea University who rent.

New builds in Swansea

New builds tend to cost more than existing properties. In January 2021 the average price of a new build was £202,488 while the average for an existing property was £165,845.³

Learn more about the pros and cons of new builds.

Best places to live in Swansea

It’s easy to see why the seaside suburb of Mumbles was named the best place to live in Wales in The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live in the UK guide 2020.

Its restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours are a strong draw, along with the promenade and art galleries. It even has a castle.

Just moments away is the glorious Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with countless unspoiled beaches including the stunning Rhossili Bay.

Properties range from cosy cottages to modern bungalows to large family homes.

Round the corner from Mumbles is Langland Bay, home to a wonderful beach where you can swim and surf, as well as a golf course.

If that’s too energetic there’s a beachside restaurant where you can sit on the terrace and admire the view.

The charm will cost you, of course. In May 2021 a 4 bedroom detached house was on the market for £1,100,000.⁷

Restaurants, trendy bars and independent shops all make Uplands a great place to hang out. So much so that the city suburb made it into TravelSupermarket’s top 20 UK Hip Hang-outs in 2017.

This popular residential quarter has numerous streets of charming Victorian villas with sea views. In May 2021 a 5 bedroom house was on the market for £325,000.⁶

Its most famous resident was Dylan Thomas, who was born at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, which remained the family home for many years.

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¹ The Times

² Swansea Council

³ Valuation Office Agency - Council Tax: Stock of Properties

⁴ Land Registry UK House Price Index

⁵ Swansea Council

⁶ Expatistan

⁷ Zoopla