Growing Appeal for Swansea City Centre as Business Location

Welcome to September's Newsletter!

Continuing the flurry of exciting news regarding Swansea's regeneration works, data has been released this week that suggests there's been an influx in commercial lettings not seen since 1980s. There are rumblings and rumours, too, that the Tidal Lagoon Project might yet go ahead!

We've got a guide for landlords on how to check your Landlords' Gas Safety Certificate is valid, as well as a really interesting turn-key buy-to-let deal!

- Hannah McCartan, Managing Director

Growing Appeal for Swansea City Centre as Business Location

In July, the BBC reported there had been a rapid return to city centre living. This month, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) have released data that shows an increase in commercial rentals not seen in Swansea since the 1980’s. 
This came as no surprise given the Kingsway Regeneration in full swing and the City Deal about to start. Earlier this month, we reported that the City Deal had begun.
LSH’s data continues the flurry of positive news for Swansea, and supports our notion that this positive trend will bring in increased demand for residential lettings. More big businesses in the centre of Swansea will bring more workers that want good, quality housing, and desirable living accommodation encourages workers to come to the city to look for work.

70/30 Split

LSH's snapshot of Q2 2018 points to the growing appeal of Swansea City Centre as a business location. They report that 17,500 sq ft has been newly let.


The ongoing regeneration of Swansea High Street is playing a major part in this appeal.


This growth in commercial letting hasn’t been seen in the City Centre, so says LSH, since the development of Llansamlet Enterprise Park. The split of 70/30 has previously favoured out-of-town locations.


Notable city centre lets include US-based software firm Mitratech, who have recently expanded into Urban Village. Urban Village forms part of a &25 million mixed-use programme of investment from Coastal Housing Group.

Refurb and Regenerate

Alexandra House, a 13-storey office block opposite Swansea train station that is home to corporate giants Virgin and TUI, has been extensively refurbished as part of the link routes regeneration programme.


The neighbouring Oldway Centre is also undergoing a dramatic transformation, converting from an office block to 560-bed high quality student accommodation. The work is due to be completed by September 2019, in time for the next academic year.

Demand for Grade A Accommodation 

While demand for city centre office space is on the rise and supply has remained stable, LSH’s data reveals a lack of good quality “grade A” space. Despite the abovementioned projects, there is a lack of even refurbished “B-grade” stock.


Alun Lewis of LSH’s Office Advisory Division has confirmed that they have had enquiries from large companies looking to relocate to the area, but the shortage of accommodation to the standard they require is holding them back. He said “We would like to see landlords speculatively refurbishing obsolete stock to attract quality occupiers.


Alexandra House and Urban Village are excellent examples of how refurbishment can prove successful and we are confident there is sufficient demand to justify more.”


Mr Lewis believes that continued regeneration of the City Centre through engaging with the creative, student and tech sectors will open a new chapter of growth.


Exciting plans are underway with the redevelopment of the Kingsway, and there are plans for the former St David’s Shopping Centre site to be developed, too, including replacing it with a state of the art 3,500-seater Digital Arena.


If you’re invested in Swansea’s regeneration and are interested in growing your buy-to-let portfolio, we can offer free advice on the best places to buy and the right properties for your investment needs. Give us a call in the office on 01792 430100, or click here to email us.


Sources: Business News Wales / BBC


Related: Rapid Return to Swansea City Centre Living / Kingsway Regeneration to Boost Rental Demand / Swansea City Transformation Begins


Could Swansea's Tidal Lagoon still be a Reality?

Despite the Government’s crushing blow not to back the ground-breaking Tidal Lagoon, rumblings have started that it may not be completely off the table just yet.


Last week, a meeting was held in Swansea for the investors, developers, and interested institutions such as Swansea University to discuss the potential of proceeding with the project privately, irrespective of Government support.

Swansea’s Tidal Lagoon Hopes

If built, the Lagoon could provide electricity to over 155,000 homes across Swansea – and to many local businesses, too.


Taking the pressure off our already overstretched resource, oil, and much more eco-friendly than nuclear power, the Tidal Lagoon would also benefit the Welsh economy hugely with thousands of jobs being created, and increasing tourism.

Deal One Step Closer?

The planning that has gone into the project is immense and expensive; Tidal Lagoon PLC (the company behind it) lost &4.2m in 2016 according to their most recent set of accounts. They have now struck an agreement with creditors and shareholders to help pay this debt off.


The company said the deal meant it could continue work on delivering the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon Project, as they wanted to press on without the need for UK Government financing.

Labour Conference

In another (potentially) positive turn in events, the last day of the Labour conference this week saw Jeremy Corbyn promise a ‘green jobs revolution’. He pointed to Labour's commitment to reduce the UK's net carbon emissions by 60% by 2030 - and to zero by 2050.


Whilst he didn’t mention Swansea specifically in his speech, he later tweeted “The @Conservatives failing to back the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project was the wrong decision for our economy, the wrong decision for jobs and the wrong decision for the future of our planet.

Labour will back it.”


Llanelli MP Ms Griffith also dismissed UK ministers on Radio Cymru, ruling that the Swansea scheme did not represent value for money. She said “We’ve seen the price of oil rising and rising, so its important for climate change and for the economy.


"The fact is the price has come down and down - and there's no risk at all to the government because you don't pay until the electricity is ready," she said.


"The investment to create the lagoon doesn't come from the government. This is done to start with and you don't pay until you get the electricity.


"And the fact is the electricity from so many other sources will increase in cost. The price is value for money now - and it will become more so [value for money].


"The tide comes and goes. It's regular. You know what you'll get from it. There's not a lot of maintenance and so on. It's value for money."

Whilst there are no guarantees that the Swansea Tidal Lagoon will ever come off, the fact that it is still being actively discussed is a small ray of hope that our future generations can benefit from today’s efforts.


Sources: BBC on Firm Behind Project in Debt Deal / BBC on Corbyn Swansea Tidal Lagoon Pledge



Related: Swansea City Transformation Begins / Rapid Return to Swansea City Centre Living


Is Your Property Gas Safe?

Last week was Gas Safety Week 2018, and we are raising awareness among Landlords of what makes a valid Landlords Gas Safety certificate, and how to tell if a contractor is qualified to conduct the required checks.


When it comes to gas in rental properties, everyone can agree that tenant safety is paramount – that is why having a valid Landlords Gas Safety Certificate is required by law.


However, a number of Landlords Gas Safety Certificates provided to us by private contractors over the last few months have been invalid due to vital information being missing, and in some cases, the correct checks not having been conducted.


If your GSC isn’t valid:


  • Your tenants are at risk of serious injury
  • You as a landlord are at risk of prosecution
  • You as a landlord may be unable to serve notice to regain possession of your property

Essential Gas Safety Information for Landlords

Gas safety checks are a legal requirement and should be conducted annually on rented properties – and before the date on them expires.

It is the Landlords responsibility to ensure the contractor appointed to conduct the certificate is qualified, and that the certificate is valid. We advise taking a copy of the contractors’ Gas Safe ID card; on the back it will list all the appliances they are qualified to work on.


6 essential parts that need to be completed on a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate:


  • The engineer’s name, company name, and Gas Safe Registration Number
  • The landlord’s name and address (can also/instead be the name of your managing agent if applicable, but ideally it should have both!)
  • All of the gas appliances in the property need to have been listed and checked, including any that are disconnected or capped (even if they were disconnected or capped on a previous visit)
  • Either an operating pressure or a heat input figure for all appliances
  • A tick to show the Gas Tightness has been tested
  • The date the checks were conducted and the certificate produced


If your certificate is missing any one of these parts, your certificate is not valid, and the plumber will need to write a new one or re-conduct the checks.

What to Say if Something is Missing

Some gas engineers say that hobs don’t have operating pressures or heat inputs, but that is incorrect. They’re slightly more difficult to test, but they do still need to be tested.


Although liability for making sure all appliances are checked and safe ultimately resides with the landlord, you would hope that a qualified engineer would be savvy enough to notice any gas appliances you haven’t directly asked them to check. Make sure you are firm on this point!


Ideally, all appliances that have a gas supply should be tested at the same time and listed on the same certificate. Having multiple certificates is acceptable provided they are conducted no more than a year apart for ease of organising for new checks to be carried out.

Is Your Plumber Allowed to Issue Gas Safety Certificates?

In order to be able to carry out any work involving gas, a plumber is legally obliged to be registered with Gas Safe. You can ask to see their Gas Safe card before letting them conduct any work, and/or check them out on the Gas Safe Register.


You will also need to make sure that they are qualified to carry out work on the specific appliances you have in your property. Not all plumbers are qualified to do work on water heaters, for example, or on appliances that run on LPG instead of mains gas.


Check out our full guide to checking the validity of your Landlords Gas Safety Certificate by clicking here.


If you would like us to put you in touch with our recommended Gas Safe gas engineer, or if you would like any more advice about Landlord’s legal responsibilities when letting out a property, give the team at McCartan a call on 01792 430100, for send us an email by clicking here.


SourcesGas Safe Register / Andy John Plumbing and Heating

Rental Property of the Month

My Rental Property of the Month is this modern 2 double bedroom ground-floor apartment in the convenient location of Brynmill. Close to the shops, restaurants and nightlife of Uplands Square, and not far from Swansea City Centre, the University, Singleton Hospital, and Swansea Bay, it would make a great home for a single professional or couple.
Earlier this year, Uplands made a list of the top 20 “hippest” areas to live in the UK, according to Travel Supermarket. Points were awarded based on markers like independent coffee shops, vintage fashion outlets, vegan cafes, co-working spaces or art galleries, and the potential savings travelers could make by staying there instead of the city centre.

Internally, the property comprises communal entrance leading to hallway, large living area with leather sofa and glass dining table, modern fitted kitchen, 2 double bedrooms (both with ample storage space), and modern bathroom with shower over bath.

Externally, there is a rear decked area and street parking.
Click here to view the brochure online (link active at time of publishing).
If you're looking to rent and would be interested to view, please feel free to give us a call on 01792 430100. If you're a landlord with a property in Brynmill/Uplands and would like some assistance with getting it ready for let or managing your tenancy, please feel free to get in touch, too!

Buy-to-Let Deal of the Month

Before investing in buy-to-let in Swansea, it’s essential to consider what type of tenant you are looking to attract and where your budget will stretch to. Investing in the right location is key to making your investment work for you in the long term.

A Turn-Key Buy-to-Let in Llangyfelach

My Buy-to-Let Deal of the Month is a 2 bedroom terraced property in Llangyfelach. Click here to view the brochure.


Llangyfelach is a fantastic location if you’re looking to corner the professional tenant market. We know this area is very popular with professionals due to its proximity to major employers, such as Morriston Hospital and the DVLA. Access to the M4 only minutes’ away and has easy to access Llansamlet Enterprise Park and Swansea City Centre from here, too.




From previous experience, I know properties on the Y Waun Fach estate usually rent for between &550-&575pcm depending on the internal condition of the property, and the market conditions at the time of advertising. At the full asking price, this property would achieve a healthy yield of 6.5%.


Looking at the marketing photos, it doesn’t appear that much would need to be done to prepare the property for let, save our usual recommendations of a quick refresh of paintwork, a check-over for minor maintenance issues, and a professional clean. Not needing to be on-site to oversee extensive renovations makes it a great choice for investors both local and further afield.


If you’re looking for free advice on the best places to buy-to-let in Swansea for your investment needs, or if you’ve purchased a property and are interested in our management or let only services, give us a call on 01792 430100, or click here to email us.


Related: House Prices Below 2007 Peak, but Rents up 26% / What Makes a Good Property Investment in Swansea?

McCartan Rental Tracker

Average Asking Rents, September 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed
Houses &460.00 &586.00 &688.00 &918.00 &847.00
Flats &550.00 &868.00 &1,041.00 &1,284.00 &349.00
All &523.00 &774.00 &777.00 &943.00 &826.00

Difference from August 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed
Houses -4.56% 1.91% 0.00% 9.03% 5.35%
Flats -2.65% -2.25% -10.57% 13.43% 3.87%
All -2.79% -1.15% 0.26% 8.77% 5.36%

Number of Properties Available, September 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed
Houses 74 81 89 70 91
Flats 175 163 30 5 4
All 249 244 119 75 95

Difference from August 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed
Houses -29.52% -6.90% 4.71% -4.11% 1.11%
Flats -20.81% -5.23% 57.89% -28.57% 0.00%
All -23.62% -5.79% 14.42% -6.25% 1.06%

Average House Prices (Sales), August 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed
SA1 &95,330.00 &133,074.00 &145,309.00 &223,732.00 &166,500.00
SA2 &0.00 &158,203.00 &216,785.00 &344,776.00 &404,236.00
SA3 &0.00 &235,541.00 &352,714.00 &516,013.00 &490,045.00
SA4 &0.00 &130,454.00 &158,828.00 &240,288.00 &356,301.00
SA5 &80,000.00 &153,714.00 &135,590.00 &204,107.00 &338,250.00

Difference from July 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed
SA1 0.12% 2.35% 6.20% -20.72% -19.07%
SA2 * -0.41% -4.01% -0.59% -5.11%
SA3 * -3.62% -0.71% 15.04% -0.99%
SA4 * -3.65% -3.31% -6.80% 1.74%
SA5 * 75.10% -2.65% -2.03% -28.72%

Average Flat Prices (Sales), August 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
SA1 &123,078.00 &157,421.00 &256,275.00
SA2 &171,647.00 &138,909.00 &189,950.00
SA3 &117,977.00 &269,629.00 &185,000.00
SA4 &76,915.00 &82,344.00 &0.00
SA5 &62,537.00 &78,232.00 &0.00

Difference from July 2018

  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed
SA1 3.40% 6.05% 35.26%
SA2 4.32% -3.94% 0.00%
SA3 -4.10% 4.97% *
SA4 -2.60% -1.48% -100.00%
SA5 -10.66% 0.17% *
* can't calculate by zero.
Sources: rental stats from Zoopla / sales stats from Rightmove

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