Over the last year or so, more and more home owners have been diving into renovating and updating their properties, with more time spent at home due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
All the DIY and make-over jobs people had been putting off due to time constraints have been, for many, distractions to the pandemic.
And some people saw it as a chance to improve their home with the view to selling it when the property market became buoyant again - and most estate agents will agree that the market in Wales is currently the hottest it's been for many years.
With restrictions beginning to slowly ease and building materials more widely available, property developers have been able to finish their renovation projects too, and put their newly-transformed properties on the market.
Property portal Zoopla has researched the current properties for sale on their site to discover which area of the UK has the highest proportion of homes for sale that include the term 'recently renovated'.
Zoopla's results show that the Welsh valleys county of Rhondda Cynon Taf is the UK's top renovation lockdown hotspot.
The portal says that one in five (19.9%) properties in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) have been recently renovated with the average property price being just £115,000.
This figure is nearly £100,00 more affordable than the average property price in Wales, currently standing at £205,871, so there's a chance to find more of a bargain with less work needing to be done in RCT.
Three other areas of Wales make the Zoopla top 10 list, with Ceredigion in third place with 13.6% of properties listed being described as recently renovated, Powys is in sixth spot with 12.1% and Neath Port Talbot can be found at number eight with 11.9%.
List of UK's top ten recently renovated homes hotspots according to Zoopla:
1. Rhondda Cynon Taf: 19.9%
2. Derbyshire Dales District: 16.1%
3. Ceredigion: 13.6%
4. Hyndburn District: 12.4%
5. Harrogate District: 12.2%
6. Powys: 12.1%
7. Argyll and Bute: 11.9%
8. Neath Port Talbot: 11.9%
9. Brighton and Hove: 11.8%
10. Angus: 11.8%
Gareth Jones, director of Penhill Jones Property, has had a very busy six months selling property across the RCT area and thinks he can go some way to explaining why the county has hit the number spot in the UK.
He says: "The properties here offer better value compared to the cities. With a move to more home working, it's no longer required to live so close to work for many people and having the ability to go on country and mountain walks during lunch is a huge draw. If you're working from home, you may as well work with a beautiful view out of the window.
"I also think that over lockdown, people have spent more time enjoying their local area and appreciating the surroundings - just look at the number of tagged pictures on Instagram and Facebook - and people have started to see the valleys as a different area and one that's really beautiful as well as still relatively affordable for many house hunters.
"There's a lot of 'project properties' in and around the valleys too, houses that have been owned and loved for decades by the same family but are now probably due a makeover.
"Due to the velocity and trajectory of the market, people are keen to capitalise on it and start renovating. I've sold quite a few renovation projects that have been bought for a relatively low amount from family members and done up with other family members for a healthy profit.
"There's definitely an influx of relocating buyers, especially into the Aberdare area. I've sold a range of properties across the area to first-time buyers from Brighton, downsizers from Surrey and to upsizers from Birmingham. Also, the area has a range of properties on offer, not just the expected, traditional terraces and at a range of prices.
"The valleys have a lot to offer and I think that is now being recognised."
According to Zoopla, these are currently the ten most popular (most viewed) recently renovated properties for sale in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
1. Ferndale: £255,000
In the small RCT town of Ferndale is a big property with big space and it's this element, as well as its recently made-over state, that are its main and instantly noticeable selling features.
The estate agent selling the detached home describes it as a prestigious, executive-style property, situated in this convenient location offering immediate access to all services. As a four-bed house with oodles of space, it is said to be a unique property to the surrounding area.
Outside the exposed stone-cladded facade pays homage to the home's mountain and valleys location, nestled amongst the natural beauty of the valleys, with the smart white-washed section adding a modern touch.
Inside, it's contemporary all the way, with built-in bespoke carpentry, recessed lighting, soft grey carpets and a gloss kitchen with integrated appliances likely to delight a family looking for a 'move-in ready' home.
The four-piece family bathroom is arguably the highest of the high points within the property, featuring a statement, free-standing bath at the summit of the interior design.
But as well as the smart interiors, the house has lovely mountain views that can be enjoyed either via the first-floor balcony or the garden patio accessed via the patio doors in the spacious lounge.
Sold with no ongoing chain, the house is on the market with estate agent Property Plus Wales, call them on 0800 043 7300.
2. Clydach Vale: Offers over £90,000
This home in the Rhondda Fawr valley has been recently refurbished to a high specification according to the estate agent selling the traditional valleys terrace.
With Cambrian Welfare Park just up the road as well as being surrounded by numerous mountain walks, this house has views, woodland, lakes and wildlife literally on its doorstep.
If you step over that doorstep you will find an extended property, with a kitchen diner located inside a single-storey addition that adds a sociable space for entertaining and links directly out to the garden.
The light colour palette of neutral shades in the kitchen is joined by accents of shiny surfaces plus LED kickboard and LED ceiling lighting. This kitchen used to share the floor space with a bathroom which has now been relocated upstairs hence the generous ground space perfect for modern living.
Upstairs the modern interior design continues into the two bedrooms and the stylish two-tone white and grey bathroom.
This house is for sale with Yopa, call them on 0333 305 0202 to find out more.
3. Pentre: £133,950
Tucked away along a quiet, hidden street the modern grey exterior facade and dark slate grey windows that greet you gives you a hint of the contemporary home waiting for you inside.
Described as decor that incorporates sleek lines and tasteful choices by the estate agent, looking around it's likely that most potential buyers would agree.
The double-fronted house has a spacious lounge diner that spans the whole width of the house that then flows into the contemporary kitchen.
There are feature marble tiles to notice in the kitchen that also make a statement in the modern, brand new family bathroom on the first floor. Up here, along with the bathroom, you will find three bedrooms.
Outside is a mountain and village view that's pretty as a picture, with the local church spire making an entrance amongst the rooftops and undulating mountains on the horizon.
The hidden terrace with the happy valley view is for sale with Bayside Estates, call them on 01443 809836 for further information.
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4. Cymmer, Porth: £122,500
If viewing recently renovated properties makes you bored of seeing just a white and grey colour combination or swathes of magnolia as the chosen interior decor, then this three-bed terrace will cause you joy and delight and prove that a house can feel spacious and modern without necessarily defaulting to these light choices.
The interior design is all about colour and pattern, and although there are rooms with the modern mix of grey and white too, this homeowner has made their decor about their own personal style.
Arguably the best room to experience this is the dining room, where a navy tone has been chosen as the perfect, dark background for a mustard tone accent, personal artwork and the distinctive feature wallpaper that has informed the whole scheme.
The house is deceptively bigger than it may first appear, with space on the ground floor for a utility room as well as the broken-plan layout of the dining room flowing into the comfortable lounge via a double-width open doorway.
The lounge then flows into the modern kitchen, featuring high shine, gloss dark grey units, with enough space for a breakfast bistro table against one wall should the new owner want to eat in this space.
Outside there's a layered garden that has rooftop and mountain top views and if a new owner wanted to directly connect to them just changing the lounge window to a French door would get them straight out onto the 'top layer' patio area of the garden, subject to expert advice and checking with the planning department of the local council of course.
This abode is for sale with Property Plus Wales, call them on 0800 043 7300 for further details.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a unique property market, with prices rising in many areas.
Strike is promising to undercut rivals by selling homes free - saving customers up to £3,600 when they sell their home. Strike says people can check if their postcode is available for the free offer here, where you can book a free valuation.
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5. Llanharan: £295,000
Go up a level of budget and a detached house could be on offer, like this 'move-in ready' period property near Pontyclun that has been given a makeover but has also retained much of its original character.
It's got space, it's got an ideal family garden that is also ideal for entertaining, and it's got fabulous mountain views.
From the period-inspired floor tiles in the hall and the stripped wood staircase, to the choice of metro tiles in the bathroom, there are touches of period character here, but the whole look is fresh and modern.
The ample size of this family home means there's a home office as well as a utility room, a kitchen that is easily big enough to dine in - plus a separate dining room and lounge, and even a handy cloakroom tucked neatly under the stairs.
The kitchen in particular oozes character with an exposed brick fireplace with log burner a surprise and welcome addition, and the central kitchen island a joyful bonus most buyers will be pleased to discover.
The charming home, renovated to successfully combine modern facilities with period character, is for sale with Peter Alan, give their Talbot Green branch a call on 01443 222851 to find out more.
Find your next perfect home here:
6. Tonypandy: £165,000
Just because a house is a terrace, doesn't mean it can't offer oodles of space, and this one can boast four bedrooms. And with all that sleeping accommodation on offer, the current owners are using one of the bedrooms as a generous-sized walk-in wardrobe.
The large lounge is a combination of the two former reception rooms in this traditional terrace being combined and it results in a room that can easily welcome the whole family, and a selection of their friends too.
Using glass panelled doors from hall to lounge and then lounge to kitchen diner is a clever move, sharing light between all the spaces but providing privacy between them too when required.
There's a generous kitchen diner that opens out onto the garden via a set of French doors, and this space also continues the modern decor with accents of warm wood established in the previous lounge space now found in the kitchen.
The ground floor bathroom, not uncommon in a valleys terrace, continues the generous room proportions and allows for four bedrooms upstairs, with the master at the front offering an ensuite WC and the middle bedroom used as that walk-in wardrobe. Both rear bedrooms are maybe surprisingly doubles too - this really is a Tardis terrace.
The terrace with more space inside than you expect is for sale with Property Plus Wales, call them on 0800 043 7300 for further details.
7. Ystrad: £129,995
An end-of-terrace is arguably a fine property to hunt for - essentially very similar to a semi-detached house as only attached on one side, but usually not with the same higher price tag of a semi.
This recently renovated end-of-terrace is on a quiet, elevated residential street that means the views from the garden, also recently renovated, are of stunning, rugged mountains.
The views inside are pretty good too, with soft colours and soft furnishings making the lounge diner a place you want to visit and stay. White walls and pale tones mixed with wood flooring creates a peaceful and warm welcome that continues into the kitchen.
This modern room has a kitchen sink that looks out over the garden that boasts an adult layer and a children's play area, as well as those lovely mountain views.
The downstairs bathroom is a generous modern room and allows space for three bedrooms on the first floor, where the views are even more special from this elevated position.
The mountain view home is on the market with Osborne Estates, call them on 01443 435599 to find out more.
8. Ferndale: £149,950
The warm tones of wood throughout this newly-renovated house make it a welcoming proposition, from internal doors to floors, from the staircases to the kitchen work surface, from the bathroom basin unit to the mantle over the log burner in the lounge.
Combined with modern and tasteful additions such as slate-style flooring, stone-style bathroom tiles, cream gloss kitchen units and a lounge log burner, and the house is tastefully modern without being sterile and cold in any space; on the contrary, even the empty rooms look visually welcoming with a homely atmosphere.
There are many stand-out features to notice and admire but arguably the most appealing is the contemporary, free-standing bath in the upstairs family bathroom, where you will also find the three bedrooms and an attic space that has been converted to create maybe the best man cave or hen den on the road.
The lounge has a set of French doors out to the front terrace - the perfect spot to sip a refreshing drink in the sunshine and admire the majestic mountains that dominate the opposite horizon.
This home with special, nature-based views inside and out, is on the market with Property Plus Wales, call them on 0800 043 7300 for further details.
9. Beddau: £190,000
In a village just outside Pontypridd, this mid-century semi-detached house has been given a sprinkling of renovation magic dust to make it into a modern home worthy of being on this list of most popular RCT homes viewed on Zoopla.
Being a semi, the house has more space on offer, and being from an era where space and solid walls were the key construction features, as well as larger windows, it is a light and bright home that has rooms a family or couple can grow into.
The lounge has a built-in space for a wall mounted television, illustrating how the developer has thought about the details to make this an instantly usable modern abode.
The kitchen diner at the rear is another large space that can host well attended dinner parties at the dining section while the cook busily prepares the gourmet feast in the sizeable and well-equipped kitchen.
The tones used might be neutral and modern but added extras, such as pattern flooring and grooved internal doors, add extra finishing touches that visually set this renovation by a developer apart from many of the rest on the market.
This thought is also evident in the bathroom, where the pretty flooring in a vintage inspired design so popular at the moment, is the feature to instantly notice.
The joy of a mid-century house, most of them anyway, is evident in the bedroom spaces - no box room, no cramped third bedrooms here - even the smallest of the bedrooms is about 2.6 metres by 2.3 metres.
The house with the space is for sale with Peter Alan, give their Talbot Green branch a call on 01443 222851 to find out more.
10. Tonypandy: £159,950
This modern home is all about entertaining, from the spacious dining and lounging area that can welcome many to dine and lounge, to the kitchen that includes a sociable breakfast bar to keep the cook company - inside the house says welcome.
Outside, the welcome continues, with two large and sunny terraces tempting everyone outside, via two sets of French doors, to be mesmerised by the multiple mountain tops surrounding the home.
Optimising the flow from inside to out with the addition of the doors is thoughtful and ideal for a seamless connection, especially when the view that awaits you is that engaging.
The bathroom can be found on the ground floor and features a pea-shaped bath design that, once filled with bubble bath, will look incredibly inviting. Upstairs, there are three good-sized double bedrooms and outside, as well as the spacious garden with views for the humans, the cars can get excited as there is dedicated off-road parking.
The sociable house is for sale with Property Plus Wales, call them on 0800 043 7300 for further details.
All properties available at the time of writing, but with the property market in Wales currently super hot, some may have already been sold.