New homes snapshot – Cornish coast proves a perennial favourite for homebuyers

Posted 19 May 2016 by Keith Osborne

The new homes market along Cornwall's coast is as much a focus for second home buyers as it is for those looking for a primary residence...

The recent story from St Ives, where local residents have voted to ban the building of new second homes in the town dubbed ‘Kensington-on-Sea’, has cast the spotlight onto the popularity of the Cornish coast and demand for new homes there.

The referendum in the resort was held on the back of statistics that show one in four homes in the town is a second home, with demand-led price rises putting them out of the affordability range of local people. Residents want developers to focus on new homes for people from the area and a ban on selling to those with a primary residence elsewhere.

Cornish coastSt Ives mayor Cllr Linda Taylor said: “We really appreciate where we live in St Ives, it is absolutely beautiful and people want a slice of that life so there will always be developers who want the opportunity to be part of this. I’m absolutely confident that we will see development continuing but in a structured and controlled way.”  

Nicola Markham, joint regional managing director and group sales director of leading regional developer Acorn Blue, says: “Assuming the St Ives Plan is actually ‘made’, developers and landowners might stall sites meaning little new stock will be constructed for second homes. Investors/buyers will gravitate towards older properties instead, reducing opportunities for owner-occupiers, whilst new build buyers will look at other coastal locations.

“A reduction in the level of enquiries was expected following the increased activity earlier in the year. The recent stamp duty change appears to have had little effect on second home purchases at Acorn Blue, the market remains buoyant.”

Cornwall’s mix of dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, superb pubs and restaurants and stylish resort amenities make it a magnet for out-of-towners, so new homes of all types are likely to attract the attention of those looking for a weekend or holiday home as much as those looking for a place to live permanently.

Recent figures from the Land Registry showed prices dropping in the South West by 0.9% last month, a figure explained by some as an adjustment following a hectic three months in Q1 when investors were trying hard to beat the stamp duty deadline at the end of March, after which second and investment homes have been subject to an additional 3% stamp duty charge.

Andy Goundry, the National Association of Estate Agents spokesman for Cornwall, said: “The market has certainly not been as active this year and we are seeing asking prices reduced to push through sales. If this kept up we would be 11% down by the end of the year but we will only know when the April figures come out – if we see a jump back up we will know where we are.”

New homes for sale in Cornwall

With all the press coverage of the difficulty of local people to afford property in the region, the availability of 17 Shared Ownership homes at Trecerus Farm in fashionable Padstow will be very welcome. Coastline Housing is offering a selection of two- and three-bedroom houses with an excellent specification and allocated parking.

The South West’s popularity as a retirement destination is underlined by specialist developer McCarthy & Stone lining up a new scheme of one- and two-bedroom apartments for over-60s in Bude. There are 29 apartments in all, priced from £185,000, set close to the town’s amenities. Construction starts this summer, with the first residents expected to move in a year later. 

Wharf Road​Also in the senior buyer sector, Churchill Retirement Living is currently constructing a development with views of the ocean and to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount’s Bay. The one- and two-bedroom apartments at Wharf Road are close to Wharfside Shopping and local amenities including Penzance railway station. Prices are yet to be announced. 

At Trencreek Meadows, on the outskirts of chic Newquay, Taylor Wimpey is using local materials to build a selection of properties starting at just £135,000. These properties have easy access to the town’s shops and leisure facilities.

Located just minutes from Lusty Glaze Beach, the apartments at Acorn Blue’s One Lusty Glaze make an appealing investment property option, but the availability of Help to Buy also makes it attractive to owner-occupiers looking for a prime coastal location at sleek, modern design. Prices start at £275,000 for one of 36 properties, with one- to four-bedroom layouts.

The same housebuilder is also offering a range of two-, three- and four-bedroom detached holiday homes in Carbis Bay, St Ives, at its Una scheme, with prices starting at £275,000. Just a stroll from these homes, clustered like boats in a harbour, is the Una Spa, with a sauna, Jacuzzi and pool. There’s a reception service to look after your renters.

Bradley’s Estate Agents is offering a brand new three-storey house within walking distance of the beach at Treliddon Heights in Downderry, on the county’s southern coast. The £205,000 three-bedroom semi-detached home comes with parking and Help to Buy is available.

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