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Cornwall's ongoing 'Disneyland' housing crisis blamed on 'greedy' locals


People say they are the ones selling houses for 'crazy' prices

By Lisa LetcherCommunity Reporter

Hundreds of people have reacted to Cornwall's ongoing housing crisis, calling locals greedy for selling up at inflated prices and suggesting that those fleeing cities will soon regret their decision come winter.

It comes after people and estate agents laid bare the difficulties of moving to the county right now amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sally-Claire Fadelle is one prospective buyer who has just been "gazumped" - a term for when someone sneaks in with a higher offer after yours was already accepted.

She was due to exchange last week in Penzance and she added that one of the houses she had previously showed interest in was up for £135,000 before being taken down and put on the market for £170,000 with all the original features "ripped out".

She said: "People like me can then not afford anywhere in Cornwall. As for those with second homes - this should be banned everywhere - some people don't even have one home."

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Karen Cater said her daughter has found herself in a similar position, due to look at a property that went on the market just days ago.

Instead she was told that someone up country had put in an offer "tens of thousands over the asking price", without even viewing it, and only a day after hitting the market.

CornwallLive received over 500 comments on a recent post about how one estate agent, in St Agnes, said houses are selling without people even seeing them, and that the agency simply does not have enough properties to go round.

But while people have been quick to blame those choosing to move here, many have said that more responsibility should lay with the current homeowners, as they are the ones selling at inflated prices.

Others think the problem will get better once the Stamp Duty tax break ends on June 30, after it was extended from the original date of March 31.

Sally Knight blamed the "locals", saying it's their fault for selling their homes as second homes "just to make money".

Wendy Bartlett agreed, saying: "It all started many years ago , when local Cornish people sold their properties and land to non-locals because they would pay big money for them, and it’s escalated to the point where only those people can buy in prime locations and we can’t."

"Locals are to blame," added Jo Huckle. She said: "They are ones selling their houses for crazy prices. A tiny little three bed house, which has been owned by a Cornish family for over 60 years, has been put on the market for over £800,000.

"Who can blame them for being greedy if someone on a chunky wage from London is mad enough to buy it as their second home."

Tash Haslam-Hopwood said she doesn't "want to live in Cornish Disneyland", calling the situation "sad".

"Houses are a limited resource and yet we are trading them as if they are in unlimited supply," she said. "Property sales need to be managed to keep some sort of balance. I was so sad to drive through Portloe (on the Roseland Peninsula) and see three lights on. Every house, empty."

Others are sure that those fleeing cities to live in Cornwall will soon regret their decision when they see some of the "realities" like how remote and isolating it can be, as well as the quiet nature of the winter when many of the "things to do disappear".

Kimmi Von Chad, said: "I wouldn't be at all surprised though, if in a couple of years, many of these houses are back on the market. Those who only see Cornwall in the summer months will see a different side to it in winter, plus they'll suddenly realise how remote it is from the rest of the UK.

"I love Cornwall in all seasons but it's not for everyone. Also, many people who expect to be able to work from home might find it actually doesn't suit them, or isn't practical, when things get back to normal after Covid."

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But the biggest concern raised is one for the younger generations and how they will get on the housing ladder, which was difficult even before Brexit and Covid-19.

Stefan Shelsher, said: "It's totally unfair to Cornish people that they are losing out on the chance to buy a home in the town or village they were born and raised in and to have to move away to get a home as result of people from outside of the county snapping up the properties.

"I'm from London originally and my first house in the county was on the market for two months before I bought it."

Tracey Coupland said: " I don't live in Cornwall, but I have visited, it's a beautiful area of this country. I feel so sorry for the local people, they are being forced out by city dwellers, just because they can afford to buy at ridiculous prices. There should be new laws to prevent the well-off doing this."

Tazmina Lea Farrell called the situation "totally unacceptable".

She said: "What about the kids, and teenagers who actually were born here? They will never be able to get anywhere to live in their own areas. This has to stop, prices are going so high, it's only people who have great big wage packets that can afford them.

"There's no hope for anyone in Cornwall to get a decent chance of owning their own home."

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