House prices: Expert discusses 'interesting' pricing differences
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Earlier this year, Cornwall overtook London as the most searched for location among property buyers. It came as the coronavirus pandemic allowed many Britons to reconsider their living situations. However, with Cornish landlords either selling up or partnering with Airbnb, it’s a nightmare for locals who are trying to find somewhere to live.
With the average wage in Cornwall standing at around £25,000, many are forced to rent a property rather than buy.
This is because house prices in Cornwall have an overall average price of £266,000.
Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, told Express.co.uk: “The Cornwall housing market is incredibly high demand and it’s easy to see why.
“Not only is it one of the most geographically beautiful areas of the nation, but at £266,000, the average property is substantially more affordable than the wider average found across the South West region and the UK for that matter.
“While Cornwall has always been a popular choice for second home homebuyers and rental market investors, demand has grown ever higher as a result of the pandemic.
“Many have chosen to move out of the city and into the country and Cornwall has proven popular due to the relative level of property affordability when compared to other areas of the southern market.
“Of course, the issue is that housing stock is limited and a third of homes listed for sale on the current market have already accepted an offer or sold subject to contract.
“So this cross border uplift in buyer demand is seeing local buyers struggle to climb the ladder and many have little choice but to stay renting in order to remain in their desired location.
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“The other issue facing Cornwall’s local population is rental availability. The Government has implemented a number of changes to the buy-to-let sector in recent years designed to dent the profit margins of UK landlords.
“As Cornwall is one of the UK’s tourism hotspots, many landlords are opting for the path of short-term lets via sites like Airbnb which offer a far higher yield.
“Unfortunately though, this means even fewer rental options for those looking to rent all year round and this is also contributing to an increase in the cost of renting for the local population.”
According to Rightmove, sold prices in the region over the last year were up 13 percent on the previous year.
With the housing market extremely active at the moment and rents rising, many Cornish locals may not only be finding it hard to find a property, but also struggle to pay the prices.
Landlords are selling their homes for top prices to people from outside of the area, meaning locals cannot afford it.
Many are also partnering with Airbnb to allow holidaymakers to stay in their homes, for a premium price.
After all, a week in a Cornwall cottage could allow a landlord to rake in around £800 in the summer months, similar to a month’s rent.
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Now the region has come to the end of its tourist season, many fear homelessness is on the cards.
Zoe, mother-of-three, told The Guardian: “Trying even just to get a viewing on property, it’s horrendous.
“There are hundreds of people viewing the same one. All you hear is ‘no, no, no’, because we have kids and a dog. The agents make you feel completely worthless. All I want to do is find somewhere to live with my family.”
Zoe, who didn’t wish to give her surname, is being evicted after 12 years in her home in Truro due to her landlord selling the home.
There are also thousands of other people in the same boat, with some blaming “wealthy” Britons purchasing second homes.
“Cornwall will never be the same as it used to be, too many people buying down here now, it’s ruined,” said Twitter user Olivia Jones.
Polly Neate tweeted: “Appalling stories from Cornwall show market forces alone will never deliver the housing system we need.
“People in work who can’t afford to rent are being evicted. Meanwhile, the council is crying out for the Government making it easier to deliver social homes.”
Marc Hadley wrote: “Since the pandemic started, thousands of wealthy Britons have bought second homes or moved there [Cornwall].
“Totally pushing the Cornish out of the housing market, sad to say Cornwall has been ravaged.”
Twitter user Techno wrote: “Worse than that, tenants are being evicted en masse as landlords sell up or become Airbnb.
“Low wages and high rents.”
Judy Astley said: “It’s low wages that prevent Cornish from being able to afford homes.
“There are plenty more places in the UK where barely anyone can afford a home, where property is far more expensive than Cornwall.”
Kowesthas Kristyan added: “The housing market in Cornwall is totally out of control. The only ones affordable to buy on Rightmove are holiday homes which local people aren’t allowed to live in.”
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