Toll fees scrap sees rise in interest in property

For fifty years tolls have been paid for travel between one of the most popular borders between England and Wales. So there was enormous joy in our branches when Prime Minister Theresa May announced the scrap of toll charges in May if her party won the general election.

In a recent letter from Transport Minister Jesse Norman to Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies, Mr Norman stated, "I am pleased to confirm that the bridges will revert to public ownership on 8 January 2018, and that all tolls will end at the Severn Crossings by 31st December 2018."

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has stated that abolishing the tolls will "drive economic growth for businesses in Wales and the South West [of England], and further strengthen the bond between our two great countries."

South East Wales is known for its dramatic landscapes, and culturally vibrant cities contrasted with picturesque market towns. With strong community spirit alive and well, it is no wonder that the region has been an attractive place to live and invest.  Yet despite its beauty and appeal, the costs of the toll road have put many would-be purchasers off.

The Bristol property market has been very vibrant over the last 5 years, seeing a rise in the region of 37%, pricing many out of the market. The costs of travelling daily across one of the bridges were a real turn-off for potential buyers considering a move to Wales, but things have definitely changed over the last couple few months, and we anticipate that this will continue following Mr Norman’s announcement.

It’s not just buyers who are being tempted by our property prices, landlords are also seeing a rise in demand for rental properties.

Director of Lettings, Natalie Young, said: “We have seen a sharp rise in buy-to-let landlords, who all state that the scrapping of the tolls has been the main reason they have been looking in the location of many of our branches. We have clearly seen this in Chepstow, and can now see it spreading further afield.”

It is clear that there will be an economic benefit to many businesses within Southeast Wales, and it could open doors to even more possibilities. That being said, there is pressure for an M4 relief road to take some of the weight from the expected increase in traffic.

What’s clear is that we will start to see an increasing number of changes as we head towards 8th January 2018.  Moreover, second homeowners are setting their sights on snapping up their own little piece of Wales, and we anticipate other sectors of the property market will also see a rise. This is great news for vendors and also landlords, who will benefit from the influx of new residents.

If you’re a landlord who would like to know the best places to invest to take advantage of this change in the market, contact a member of our lettings team today.