At the end of 2018, tolls will be scrapped for all vehicles using the two Severn Crossings, How will scrapping the Severn Crossing tolls affect house and commercial property prices in Cardiff?
The move was announced by Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns in July.
Around 25 million drivers use the bridges every year, paying £6.70 per car, £13.40 per van, and £20 per lorry.
The UK government estimates the decision to scrap the tolls will mean a £100 million boost for the economy of South Wales.
Regular users of the bridges could save as much as £1,400 a year.
AA president Edmund King welcomed the news. He said: “All drivers in Wales and the rest of the UK should rejoice at this news. At last the ‘tax on Wales’ is being abolished.”
Road hauliers and businesses were delighted by the decision. Several have campaigned for the tolls to be scrapped for many years.
So what impact will this have on property prices in Cardiff ?
For workers in Bristol, Somerset, and Gloucestershire, the scrapping of the tolls means they can look further afield when it comes to buying a home.
South Wales currently provides excellent value for money when compared with prices over the bridges.
The average house price in Bristol is more than £314,000. Flats sell for an average of £236,000.
Property prices in Cardiff, for a average house is £233,000.
Fortis Properties Managing Director Damon Ormonde says: “It’s obvious that with the incentive of the tolls being scrapped, South Wales, and particularly Cardiff, is about to become even more attractive to people living on the borders.
“For people working in the Bristol area, this could mean getting more for their money while still being around an hour away from the office.”
In the longer term, any influx of buyers to the city is likely to increase domestic property prices in Cardiff.
“For existing home owners, this is good news. For those about to get on the property ladder, now is a very good time to buy,” Damon says.
In the commercial property market, the scrapping of the tolls means that companies with existing bases in the South West can now consider opening outlets in South Wales.
“Cardiff is a great city in which to do business,” Damon says.
“We have a strong retail sector, a good hospitality industry, manufacturing, creative industries, and a growing technology sector.
“Without the added expense of tolls, it becomes an even more attractive place for a business base.
“Commercial property is likely to become even more sought after, and with that, of course, there is likely to be a trend towards increased commercial property prices.
“The whole M4 corridor in South Wales is likely to benefit from a boost following the scrapping of the tolls.”
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