Home hunt in Wales: historic farm for $ 1.2 million

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This restored 16th or 17th century stone farmhouse sits on approximately an acre of land with ocean views in the hamlet of Rhosson, a coastal community in West Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Known as the Rhosson Farmhouse, the 2,479-square-foot whitewashed stone house, with a thatched and slate roof, features four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and is accompanied by an array of outbuildings in stone totaling an additional 1,288 square feet. Listed in the UK as a Historic Grade II * (‘Of More Than Special Interest’) building, the two-storey house was renovated in 2010 using traditional methods and stands out for being one of the few remaining homes with a round “Flemish” Chimney, said Richard Hutchings, who owns the home with his wife, Carys Hutchings.

“This is probably the 16th century and the last of the Flemish chimney farms to remain virtually intact, and it is of considerable vernacular importance for Pembrokeshire and Wales,” he said.

From a small porch next to the imposing fireplace, the front door of the farmhouse opens onto a reception hall with a staircase. To the right are the dining room, the kitchen and a bathroom; to the left are two living rooms, a veranda and a large room with sauna and bathroom. Furniture is not included in the asking price of the house, but is negotiable, said Daniel Rees, a real estate agent at the Savills office in Cardiff, who has the listing.

The house has whitewashed and exposed stone walls with alcoves and niches, restored wooden beams and frames and slate floors. The dining room has a wood burning stove and the kitchen has skylights, granite counters and doors to the exterior. The main living room has a log burner located in a kitchen area, an alcove for dining, and it accesses the sunny veranda, which has a French door opening onto a gravel terrace and lawn. The second living room has a wood-burning stove and leads to the sauna room.

A staircase leads up to a hallway leading to three bedrooms and a bathroom. Two of the bedrooms, including the main one, have an en suite bathroom and all have wide plank floors. A fourth bedroom with A-beams is accessed via the original stone staircase from the sauna. A door from this bedroom opens onto the steps of the restored barn leading down to the garden.

The property, with its charming stone walls and views of the Atlantic Ocean, is a short walk from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The hamlet of Rhosson is close to St Davids and Close Cathedral, which includes the small town of St Davids and the surrounding rural areas. St Davids, with around 1,600 inhabitants, is less than two miles away and offers shops, pubs, restaurants and galleries. The area has several golf courses, as well as yachting on the Milford Haven Waterway, Wales’ largest estuary. Several beaches are nearby, including Whitesands, Porthselau, and Porthlysgi, and a small regional airport at Haverfordwest is about 30 minutes away; The nearest international airport is outside of Cardiff, the capital of Wales, about 100 miles to the east.

The housing market in Wales was already robust heading into 2020 and since the start of the pandemic prices have skyrocketed. Between March 2021, house prices climbed 11%, the largest annual increase among the UK’s four countries, according to the UK House Price Index Summary, compiled by the Office for National Statistics.

“Since the pandemic, the number of UK buyers has skyrocketed,” said Daniel Thomas, managing director of Fine & Country Cardiff. “As more and more people decide to work from home permanently, buyers are fleeing into the countryside. The well-connected but still rural areas of South Wales have attracted huge interest from buyers already in Wales and those in England. “

In March, the average price of a property in Wales was 185,431 pounds ($ 262,250), about $ 100,000 less than the overall average price of a property in Britain, which was 256 405 pounds ($ 362,600). Of the 22 local authority areas in the country, Pembrokeshire recorded the smallest annual gain, with a year-over-year increase of 4.5%.

“The Welsh rural market has been absolutely crazy,” said Edward Friend, lawyer, notary and manager of Carreg Law in Llandeilo. “Wales is comparatively very cheap to buy property. And there aren’t enough properties at the moment to meet demand. “

Often, realtors don’t even have time to list properties before they’re bought by impatient buyers, Fred Johnson, managing director of West Quay Estates and Lettings, told Barry. “I don’t advertise them, I just put them on a list of people who come in and say, ‘I need a four bedroom house, I want it in this neighborhood, I want it with a view of the the sea, ”he said.

While scenic areas like Pembrokeshire have long attracted English buyers looking for holiday homes, a main theme since the country emerged from coronavirus restrictions last summer has been the permanent move of English buyers, a Mr Rees said.

‘There have been a lot more buyers and younger families looking to move to Wales and buy a property, possibly larger or having more space or land than a similarly priced property in England because they now have more flexibility and can work from home more with less need for daily commutes, ”he said.

Rural areas across Britain have been boosted by these types of buyers, but Wales is particularly attractive not only for its pastoral hills but also for its coastal access, Mr Thomas said.

“South and South West Wales have been a hotspot for many buyers for years and continue to be the most sought after location, offering stunning coastline and stunning rural views, all with motorway access easy to fantastic city life in Cardiff, Swansea and even London, ”he says.

With a shortage of new construction amid the pandemic creating a shortage of offers, some brokers predict that prices in Wales will continue to rise. “It’s a great place to live, but it’s also a great place to invest,” said Thomas. “We will see house prices continue to rise. We’ve seen 10 percent year over year so far, and I think we’ll see it over the next couple of years.

Despite strong demand, pandemic travel restrictions drastically reduced the number of overseas buyers in Wales, although some agents continued to make sales virtually.

“UK shoppers in particular were so eager to buy that they offered the back of a video tour,” Thomas said. He added that he was seeing buyers from all over the world, including the Middle East and Central Europe, but “I think most of the time it’s people who have a connection to Wales, that whether through family or through work. ”

Mr Friend said he often had foreign clients, whose families had emigrated from Wales long ago, returning from English-speaking countries such as the United States, South Africa, Australia and Canada .

Besides returning UK nationals, Wales tends to attract foreign buyers from France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, South Africa and the Far East, Mr Rees said.

There are no restrictions on foreign home buyers in Wales, and the home buying process is similar to that in England, brokers have said.

There are legal differences between the two countries, however, so a Welsh lawyer is highly recommended, Friend said. The cost typically ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 pounds ($ 1,400 to $ 4,200), he said.

Buyers typically don’t hire an agent to represent them, but a private property investigation is recommended and would typically cost between 500 and 1,000 pounds ($ 700 to $ 1,400), Thomas said.

The calculation of the land transaction tax is complicated by a number of price ranges and factors influencing the total amount. Those with a primary residence anywhere else in the world will pay more tax, Mr Johnson said: ‘If it is a second home, the Welsh government increased it in December 2020, all brackets of price increasing by 1%. “

The land transaction tax for Rhosson Farm, if used as a second home and purchased after June 30, would be 83,700 pounds ($ 118,000), Mr. Rees said. As a primary residence, it would be 48,700 pounds ($ 68,800).

Mortgage loans from Welsh banks are available to foreigners, but buyers typically have to live in the country for six months to get residency, Mr Johnson said.

Welsh, English; pound sterling (1 pound = $ 1.41)

Rhosson Farmhouse currently earns more than 35,000 pounds ($ 50,000) a year in vacation rental income, without council tax due to the small business relief, Mr. Hutchings said. Normally, the tax for 2021-2022 would be around 1,983 pounds ($ 2,800) if used as a primary residence, or 2,782 pounds ($ 3,900) if used as a second home, Mr Rees said.

Daniel Rees, Savills, 011-44-29-2036-8915, savills.com

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