Area Focus Residential Wales

Area focus: North Wales. Why everyone wants a second home here

Q4 2018

Could Gwynedd county in North Wales be the next hot ticket for second home buyers? With its charming rural villages sandwiched between stunning coastlines and the dramatic mountains of Snowdonia peeking over the horizon, it’s no surprise second home and retirement properties are so popular here…

There’s no shortage of outdoor activities and attractions in Gwynedd, but what appeals to many is the laid-back lifestyle. Coupled with the fact it offers great value for money in comparison to other coastal areas like Cornwall and Devon, it’s little wonder the area is becoming so popular.

We’ve had a look at some local hotspots to see what makes North Wales so desirable for buyers, particularly those from southern England, the West Midlands and Cheshire.


Aberdovey – or Aberdyfi in Welsh – is a popular Victorian resort town. The situation of the village is beautiful, perched on the Dovey Estuary where the river Dyfi meets the sparkling blue waters of the Cardigan Bay. It is also within Snowdonia National Park and only a stone’s throw from the coastal foothills leading up to the dramatic mountain peaks.

Opportunities abound in the local area for outdoors excursions, whatever your activity levels. And besides the endless hiking opportunities, the sandy beaches offer some of the most beautiful strolls in Britain. The picturesque sheltered harbour is a popular spot with sailing enthusiasts and rowers, and the town even boasts its own Links golf course.

Meanwhile, you’ll find the village to be full of charm, with several pubs, restaurants, cafes, galleries and bespoke shops. It benefits from a year-round community, setting it apart from other coasting towns and making it an ideal spot for those looking to retire.

The most coveted properties on offer include period coastal homes overlooking the estuary, many of which are newly renovated. Large Victorian and Georgian properties are available in the town for between £650,00 and £895,000, and there are some beautiful rural properties just outside of the village where you can get some serious bang for your buck. A 4-bed Welsh stone cottage will cost you just under £600,000.


This authentic coastal village is one of the most sought after locations on the Llyn Peninsula, with miles of stunning beaches to explore and the Wales Coast Path running straight through the village. Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty to do here, from sailing, to surfing and windsurfing – it’s even home to Europe’s largest wakeboarding festival.

Abersoch is a popular tourist spot, so expect plenty of restaurants, cafes and little boutiques. Plus, for anything else you might need, Pwllheli, the main town on the Peninsula, is a mere 6.5 miles away and hosts its own weekly market.

The community here is more seasonal, and property tends to attract wealthy holiday home buyers, particularly from nearby Cheshire. Given that the village is so popular with tourists, many homes here make great buy-to-lets. At the time of writing, you could find a detached 5-bed home in the centre of town for £800,000.


Barmouth is a traditional seaside and yachting resort about 30 miles north of Aberdovey in the south-west corner of Snowdonia National Park. It sits in a truly gorgeous setting, perched on the side of a mountain with sloping down to a long sandy beach with a picturesque harbour, sat beside the dramatic Mawddach estuary.

Barmouth is a magnet for tourists, and it’s hard not to see why. The attractive old town is a joy to explore, with steep steps and charming slate-roofed cottages. For house buyers, the area offers remarkable value for money. Terraced properties here sold for under £200,000 on average in 2017, but it’s at the higher end of the market you’ll really notice the difference. As we write, a 7-bedroom 17th Century estate, complete with expansive grounds, a swimming pool, a tennis court and fantastic views would cost you £1.65million.

For sale:

  • Plas Dyfi is a beautifully presented and recently refurbished four-storey Georgian property that sits right on the waterfront of the seaside village of Aberdovey, with idyllic views across the Dovey Estuary.
  • Treburvaugh House is an attractive Grade II Listed property surrounded by glorious Welsh countryside, close to Presteigne - the county town of Radnorshire which has become a local cultural centre and hosts regular festivals.
  • The Great Hall, originally the principal entertaining space within historic Wynnstay Hall, provides a unique architectural conversion approached along a magnificent tree lined avenue, set close to the popular villages of Ruabon and Overton-On-Dee on the welsh border.