A Powys county councillor says young people from the area are now facing an uphill struggle to get on the property ladder - after new figures show house prices soared by 11 per cent across Wales this year.

Plaid Cymru councillor for Glantwymyn, Elwyn Vaughan, says issues such as rising second-home ownership in Mid Wales beauty spots are making it virtually impossible for first time buyers from Powys to own their own home. 

New figures provided by HM Land Registry and the Office for National Statistics showed the average property price in the county is now £206,656- 8.2 times greater than the average median salary of £25,197.

"Property prices have gone up 11 per cent in the last twelve months so obviously that's increasing the pressure," he said.

"In Powys you need nearly ten times your annual earnings to buy the average property and obviously bearing in mind we're a low wage economy, that makes it very difficult for not just first time buyers but also for the general public as a whole.

"Down the road from where I live in Llanbrynmair, you've got an ex council house which is now a holiday home. When things like that are happening then there's obviously something wrong with the system."

Now Cllr Vaughan has called for changes in policy at local and national level to address the problem, including the closure of a UK-wide loophole which allows landlords to avoid rates on holiday homes.

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"There are a package of positive suggestions that I would like to see happening and it's important to remember that this is a problem in Cornwall, the Lake District, in Scotland, it's not necessarily unique to Wales, and there are a number of initiatives that are happening in other parts of these islands," he added.

"One of them is that for instance you put a cap on the percentage of holiday homes in a particular community, lets say 5 per cent. The other obvious thing is that if you want to change a house to a holiday home, you have to have planning permission so that's a straightforward step.

"Some things are national, some at UK level and other things can be done at a Powys level.

"On a local level we also need to look at the local development plan for Powys. We need to look at local needs in our most rural communities and we want to make sure the local development plan reflects that properly and I'm not sure it does at the moment."

Properties in Wales saw the largest annual house price growth of any UK nation last year. According to data supplied by a report from the Nationwide Building Society, house prices across Wales show a 10.9 per cent increase to the year ending May 2021.

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