Cornwall dream is over! Britons eyeing better life in south face sour reality on coast

Cornwall: Kim Conchie insists county is not 'full'

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Cornwall has experienced a major resurgence in the past 18 months as lockdown-weary Britons flocked to the beaches. Cornwall Chamber of Commerce estimates an extra 30,000 people visited the area this summer after Covid travel restrictions forced many to opt for a so-called staycation.

The holiday hotspot was also thrust onto the world stage in June after global leaders gathered for the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay.

Property prices in Cornwall – and across the whole country – have sky-rocketed during the pandemic as buyers move out of big cities and take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

The average house price in Cornwall rose to £280,460 in October, according to Halifax, and is now more than £10,000 above the national average.

The Telegraph’s Tanya Gold noted the average wage for a Cornish resident is £25,000 and said many are being priced out of the market – with some unable to keep up with rent payments.

She said: “Cornwall has paid a high price for its luminous beauty as buyers flee cities and people prefer holidays in Britain to those abroad.

“So many people want to stay here – and buy here – the housing stock is woefully depleted.”

Properties on the south coast have always been popular with wealthy second-home buyers – and Ms Gold claimed landlords have contributed to the housing crisis by favouring sun seekers. 

She said estate agents “sweep up the housing stock and use it half the year”.

Ms Gold added: “All over Cornwall families are being served eviction notices as their homes are sold from under them.

“They are often working families, or single parents on benefits, many of whom work part time.”

In the surfing town of St Ives, there are three times as many homes available for holidays, Ms Gold said.

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And in Redruth, she added there are three times as many homes available for short-term holiday let than the number of houses for rent in the whole of Cornwall.

The average UK house price hit a record high of £270,027 in October, according Halifax.

The average property value grew by 0.9 percent in October – showing an increase of more than £2,500 during the month.

Wales remains the strongest performer across the UK, with annual house price inflation of 12.9 percent.

The housing market is set to record its highest level of sales this year since 2007, according Zoopla.

The estate agent predicts 1.5 million sales will take place across the UK by the end of the year.
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