People looking at online properties for sale just to be nosey rather than actively looking to buy is now a very popular past time. So when Zoopla’s UK’s most-viewed properties online top 10 for May 2022 is released, it’s not a surprise to see a £5,000,000 dream property in Richmond, Surrey as the most popular home.
But the remaining nine entries into this monthly top ten reveals that most people rummaging around on property portals are indeed not just daydreaming but actually hunting for their new or first home. The list also confirms to some degree the thought that as a result predominantly of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are looking for more space and more privacy, with the majority of the homes being viewed falling into the four-bed, detached category.
The UK property market has been bouncing in the last 18 months, with record average house prices being set month after month, buyers having to move fast and sometimes paying over the asking price, and the rare incidence of a ‘full house’ not experienced since 2007 – when all regions of the UK see a monthly percentage increase in the average house price.
In the ‘race for space’ and a more peaceful location, a four-bed detached house seems an ideal step up the property ladder for many families in particular. The extra bedroom could be the perfect solution as a home office for the rapid expansion in the working from home army the pandemic has created.
Of the houses viewed online on Zoopla in May 2022, eight were detached and although two had just three bedrooms, the increase in popularity of hunting down a home with no attached neighbours is clear. According to Zoopla data, within the last 12 months there has been 8,776 sales of four bedroom houses in Wales, with over 7,000 of those sales being in the last six months of 2021. The property portal also estimates the average asking price of a detached home in Wales is now £330,234.
The second most viewed home in the UK in May 2022, and the most viewed online in Wales, is the cheapest house on the list, and seems like a bargain when its location is considered; it appears to have the best of both worlds.
The three-bed semi is located on the edge of the village of Heol-y-Cyw along a country lane and surrounded by open countryside. But if commuting for work is key, or popping out for a coffee is a popular past time, the M4 is just a few miles to the south and Pencoed, Sarn and Bridgend are just a short drive away.
It’s a popular and peaceful spot to call home as the majority of sales in Heol-Y-Cyw during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £456,000, way over the Welsh average for a detached house.
Overall, sold prices in Heol-Y-Cyw over the last year were 26% up on the previous year and 23% up on the 2009 peak of £250,272. Properties in Heol-Y-Cyw had an overall average price of £307,275 over the last year, again higher than the Wales’ national average of £233,361 reported by the Principality Building Society.
In the last seven years there have been 50 sales in the village, and only 13 of these were semi-detached, so no wonder this popular semi-detached on the quiet street to the north of the village has been a popular house to view virtually.
And the road has only experienced five removal vans turning up in the last seven years so getting a pad to call your own on this street might be a bit of a challenge due to lack of stock, as well as location.
The house last sold in May 2017 via estate agent Payton Jewell Caines and was, at the time, a renovation project – a loved home but in most buyer’s eyes in need of a makeover. And what a smart and stylish job the current owners have done to revive this property and bring it right up to date.
A smart, modern grey facade welcomes you as you arrive at this popular three-bed semi, joined by the woodland view opposite that adds to the charming location. The house is raised above the road and this elevated position results in a view across the trees, not the tarmac, from every front facing window.
The front door positioned at the side of the property is a bonus as none of the woodland views are wasted on an internal space that’s not made for lingering, so the dining room and lounge at the front of the house can enjoy the full width of the house and the full engagement with the view.
The kitchen is at the rear of the house and overlooks the good sized garden. The next owner, if they have the budget, could consider removing the wall between the kitchen and lounge to create a large, front to back kitchen diner, complete with glass doors out to the garden. The current dining room could then become a separate lounge.
Or maybe they could really get busy with a sledgehammer and remove the wall between the current dining room and lounge too, with the result being the most sociable of L-shaped living, cooking and dining spaces – all checked with planning and building control first though of course, as removing two major walls will create one major problem if they are not replaced with structural support.
The interior design the current owners have created in this semi is stylish and modern, via a pallet of deep and moody contemporary colours against lighter tones, with an industrial edge created by the introduction of metal and wood. Texture comes from wall panelling, metallic accents, natural fabrics via furniture and accessories, and well-placed plants.
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There’s a storage cupboard next to the stairs that could possibly become a ground floor cloakroom with some design thought, and another addition to the house could be French doors instead of windows out to a new front garden deck that optimises the connection to the woodland view on the ground floor.
Upstairs there are three double bedrooms and a family bathroom and an appealing reading nook or hang-out space at the top of the stairs that has its own window over the view – no wonder the current owners have placed a bench there to make the most of this corner of the home.
If possible structurally and financially, the front bedroom could make the neighbours jealous by the addition of either a Juliet balcony or maybe even a full external balcony that extends the width of the house, subject to planning consent of course. A new and enticing spot for morning coffee or an evening drink looking out of the treetops.
There might even be the chance to convert the loft into a fourth bedroom with ensuite, but there is also the chance that a new owner could over-develop the house and spend more than they are likely to recoup if they ever resold, at least in the short term.
But if this is your forever home, why not make it forever be what you want it to be? And that might be to increase the social spaces and the connection to the woodland and garden, or decide that the home is perfect as it is and all you need to do is unpack and enjoy Wales’ most-viewed home.
Zoopla’s second most viewed UK home is for sale for £199,950 with estate agents Herbert R Thomas, Bridgend on 01656 660036 and Daniel Matthew EA on 01656 501038.
The UK’s most-viewed properties online in May 2022
10. Corringham, Essex: offers over £850,000
9. Tonna, Neath: offers over £295,000
8. Liversedge, West Yorkshire: offers over £290,000
7. Ruby Mews, London: £570,000
6. Bynea, Llanelli: £329,950
5. Brandon, Suffolk: offers over £300,000
4. High Green, Sheffield: £275,000
3. Thorpe Bay, Essex: £300,000
2. Swansea: £199,950
1. Richmond: £5m
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