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Moving From England to Wales

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Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

7th Feb 2023 (Last updated on 23rd Feb 2024) 7 minute read

Wales is a fantastic country to consider moving to from England.

In general, the pace of living in Wales is slower than in England and the cost of living is lower. This is great for those looking for a quieter and less expensive area to live in compared to places like Manchester and London.

In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about moving to Wales from England. This includes living costs to property prices.

  1. Property Prices
  2. Travel and Commuting
  3. Jobs and Salary
  4. Cost of Living
  5. Education
  6. Culture/Art
  7. Nightlife/Social Scene
  8. Is It Worth Moving to Wales from England?
  9. Removals from England to Wales
Why are People Moving From England to Wales?

We asked Compare My Move customers why they chose to make the move. The most common reasons were:

  • Lifestyle choice - 47.4%
  • Family-related - 42.1%
  • Retirement - 26.3%
  • Lower cost of living - 15.8%
  • For Work - 15.8%

Compare My Move’s data shows that there has been a 27.9% increase in people moving from England to Wales between 2020-2022. The number of households moving from England to Wales in 2020 was 912. This increased by 25.7% to 1,146 in 2022.

With a smaller population of 3.1 million, Wales is generally less crowded. Competition for houses tends to be lower than in popular areas of England.

Property Prices

Property prices are more affordable in Wales compared to England.

The average home in Wales costs £212,834. In England, the average property is £305,731.

The table below shows the average house prices in Wales and England as of April 2023:

House TypeWales (Average Price)England (Average Price)

Flats and Maisonettes

£134,725

£250,674

Terraced Houses

£163,980

£247,025

Semi-detached Houses

£208,033

£294,315

Detached houses

£328,628

£484,512

* Data taken from the UK House Price Index for Wales and England.

The average rental cost in Wales is £828 according to HomeLet. Rent in the rest of the UK is £1,229 on average. This includes inflated London prices. If you're moving to Cardiff from London, you will notice a significant decrease in property and rental costs.

Popular areas to live in Wales include the Vale of Glamorgan and Tenby. Lower-cost areas include Rhondda Cynon Taf, Port-Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Denbighshire. More expensive areas include Penarth and Monmouthshire. Being the capital city, Cardiff is also a more expensive area to live in.

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Travel and Commuting

Travelling and commuting in Wales are similar to England. However, there are currently changes being made to the rail systems which are causing some delays. This is due to the metro system being put in place. When this is complete, rail and bus systems will be far more reliable and efficient.

The roads in Wales are accessible. Trains and buses provide fairly easy access to English cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool. If you're moving to Mid-Wales, North Wales or more rural areas, it's useful to have a car. Public transport is less frequent and you will need to travel to larger towns for local amenities.

Jobs and Salary

The average salary in Wales is lower than in England at £23,996. The average salary in England is £26,192*. The London Living Wage needs to be taken into consideration which is higher than the average wage.

There are a variety of career opportunities in Wales. The 2021 Census shows the most popular job roles are:

  • Wholesale, retail and motor trade
  • Health and social work
  • Education
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing

* Data was taken from ThinkPlutus

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Cost of Living

The cost of living in Wales is 25% less expensive compared to England. The average living cost in Wales is around £1097 a month, which is lower than in England which is around £1446.

Here is a breakdown of some of these costs for both countries:

Cost of Living ExamplesWalesEngland

Public transport pass (monthly)

£47.52

£73.23

Utility bills (monthly)

£101.01

£112.49

Gym membership (monthly)

£28.47

£30.69

Chicken breast (1kg)

£5.25

£5.62

Beer in a pub (0.5L)

£3.44

£4.16

Taxi (5 miles)

£11.33

£13.16

Preschool (monthly)

£841.77

£1018.55

Dinner in a restaurant (for 2 people)

£45.99

£47.52

NHS Prescriptions (per item)

Free

£9.65

* Data based on one person and taken from LivingCost.Org

The cost of living in London is more expensive compared to other areas of England which increase the national average overall.

Education

There are many top-performing schools in Wales. These schools include Ysgol Bro Preseli and Cowbridge Comprehensive School. The education system in Wales is very similar to England. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5-16 in Wales. However, in England, education is compulsory until the age of 18.

The main difference is that the Welsh language is a compulsory subject. It’s taught as a second language from Key Stage 2 to GCSE level. Wales has many Welsh-medium schools for fluent Welsh speakers.

There are 8 Welsh universities to choose from, such as:

  • Cardiff University
  • Swansea University
  • University of South Wales
  • Bangor University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • The University of Wales Trinity Saint David

England has a wider variety of university choices. It's home to some of the best universities in Europe. Popular universities in England include:

  • King’s College London
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Bath

University tuition fees in Wales are capped at £9,000 per year. In England, universities can charge up to £9,250.

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Culture/Art

Wales is known for its friendly and welcoming culture. Being a Celtic nation, it’s deep-rooted in rich history. Having their own language is something Welsh people are proud of. While it’s not the first language for many, there are still a lot of Welsh speakers across the country.

Rugby and singing are a big part of Welsh culture. There are many Male Voice Choirs across Wales that are well-known. From cultural events such as the Eisteddfod and St. David’s Day, it’s clear to see that the Welsh enjoy celebrating their nationality.

Wales is home to many areas of outstanding beauty. Notable areas are the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the All Wales Coastal Path and the Brecon Beacons National Park. Wye Valley and Tywi Valley are popular locations known for their scenery.

With an impressive coastline, the Gower and West Wales are perfect for those looking for areas with beaches and coastal walks. Snowdonia and Pen-y-Fan are great for hiking.

Wales is known for its art and literature, with artist Sir Kyffin Williams and poet Dylan Thomas being amongst some of the most notable people. Popular museums include the National Museum Cardiff, the Dylan Thomas Centre, and Amgueddfa Llandudno Museum.

Nightlife/Social Scene

Cardiff and Swansea are the best cities for nightlife. They are home to many bars and clubs that suit a wide variety of tastes. Bangor is another popular city for nightlife, especially with students. The social scene is also great as everyone is welcoming, and there are events to suit everyone.

Across Wales, there are thousands of local pubs that are popular. There are always theatre shows, concerts and different events in Wales to enjoy.

The Wales Millennium Centre and the Cardiff International Arena are hubs for live events. The Mumbles has many lovely restaurants close to the sea to enjoy. While Wales isn’t as busy as some places in England, there are plenty of things to see and do.

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Is It Worth Moving to Wales from England?

As Wales has a lower cost of living, it's certainly worth moving to Wales if you’re looking to save money.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking of moving to Wales from England:

Pros:

  • Rich in culture and history
  • Lower cost of living
  • Lower housing costs
  • The NHS Wales provides free prescriptions to Welsh residents
  • Good education system
  • Opportunities to learn Welsh
  • Welcoming and friendly culture
  • The Welsh Government governs in addition to the UK parliament
  • Towns close to the border allow you to commute to jobs in places like Bristol and the English Midlands

Cons:

  • Wales has a high amount of rainfall each year
  • Not as busy or populated as places in England for those looking for a busier lifestyle or city life
  • Smaller towns have fewer amenities
  • Some Welsh places and words can be hard to pronounce and understand for non-Welsh speakers
  • Country roads can be more difficult to drive on in rural locations
  • While you don’t need to speak Welsh, it helps to know the basics

Removals from England to Wales

The average removal cost within the UK is £1,181. This is based on the cost of a 3-bedroom house moving a distance of 50 miles. Costs will vary depending on the distance travelled and the number of goods being moved.

Here are some estimated removal costs from England to Wales based on our cost of moving house calculator:

  • London to Cardiff -£918
  • Plymouth to Wrexham - £1,048
  • Liverpool to Swansea - £941
  • Brighton to Newport - £958
  • Newcastle to Brecon - £1104

(The average house price for each area taken from Rightmove. The distance of the move was used to calculate the estimated removal costs. Removal costs are based on a 3-bedroom house)

In addition to removal costs, you may need to use other services. The average costs of these services are:

  • Packing -£250
  • Dismantling and reassembling - £125

It’s vital to hire the help of a trusted and reliable removals company during the relocation process. Here at Compare My Move, we can assist you in choosing the best removals company.

We can place you in contact with up to 6 verified removals partners while saving you money on your move from England to Wales.

All costs listed in this article are correct at the time of writing. Costs may vary slightly and this is just an estimated number.

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Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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