More homebuyers are taking advantage of cheaper property prices in Wales by snapping up homes across the country, the latest index suggests.
The LSL Property Services/Acadametrics Wales House Price Index reveals that residential property sales in Wales increased by 12% in August, while home prices fell marginally by £416 in August, marking the fourth consecutively monthly decline.
The average price of a house in Wales in August was £151,004, down 0.3% month-on-month. However, the fall was slower than the 0.6% decline recorded in July.
The greatest increase in prices was recorded in The Vale of Glamorgan, where values rose by 9.3%, followed by Ceredigion, up 5.6%. The biggest decline was in Torfaen, down 6.1%. Some 15 of the 22 unitary authority areas in Wales saw a decline in average prices over the year, three more than in July.
The overall fall in property prices is owed mainly to the "anaemic mortgage market" which is preventing many would-be purchasers from being able to either gain a first foot on the housing ladder or move up the property chain, according to Nigel Favas, managing Director of Reeds Rains estate agents.
However, Favas believes that despite the lack of mortgages, there is reason to believe the housing market is starting to show tentative signs of recovery.
"The market is certainly stronger than last year - prices climbed on an annual basis during most months, albeit this climb was followed by a small fall in August. The upside of lower prices is it becomes easier for first time buyers to get a foot on the ladder," said favas.
He continued: "Although mortgage finance is scarce, and the Welsh economy is weaker than its English counterpart, some solace can be found in the rising number of sales in Wales which have climbed 12% compared to July. Admittedly this reflects as much the weakness of July as it does an improvement in the market.