House demand rockets 140% in four months in popular south west county


Housing interest is up 140% in Cornwall – the highest increase across the UK as the stamp duty cut continues to fuel a property market boom.

The number of people looking to buy in the area has surged by more than 140% in just four months – the highest growth rate of any county in Britain, according to property website Rightmove.

It said in the first quarter of this year, 15.2million people searched for properties to buy in Cornwall – up 9million on the same period in 2019 – the highest growth seen in any county in Britain.

The interest is believed to be fuelled by Covid lockdown restrictions and a stamp duty holiday that means people can currently buy tax-free in England and Northern Ireland.

But experts say pent up demand is pushing locals out of the area.

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Rightmove said rental enquiries have also more than doubled from 500,000 in Q1 2019 to 1.1million in Q1 2021.

“In the last six months, it’s just gone completely crazy… there’s no let-up,” Deborah Plowright, from CAM Residential Lettings in Hayle, told Sky News.

“There’s less and less properties on the market to rent and more people looking. We’ve got over 300 people on our waiting list look for properties,” she added.

According to Rightmove, asking prices of properties in the county have increased by 11% over the past year from £302,880 to £318,852.

The average rise across Great Britain is 5.1%.

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The stamp duty holiday extension until June – which suspends the tax on the first £500,000 of all sales in England and Northern Ireland – is thought to be partly behind increased interest, especially in those wanting to purchase second homes.

But a lack of housing supply, rising prices and the knock-on impact on the rental market are also factors.

However, property experts have warned buyers should not get carried away with the tax-free holiday.

Housing critic Kirstie Allsopp warned buyers are paying over the odds for mediocre homes just because of the tax-freeze.

She warned buyers should consider whether the property will retain its value post-Covid and what the future holds if they are called back to city jobs and interest rates rise again.

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