The Cornish Property Market

Tue 01 Nov 2016

Paul LeBas, Development Manager for Millerson, reflects on the changes in the property market during 2016


The property world is always an exciting place to be and things have certainly been no different this year. The first event of 2016 to have an impact on our Cornish property market was the change in the stamp duty tax thresholds affecting second homesannounced in the budget in March.  However, as is often the case, the effect was not uniform.  While the market in St Ives slowed significantly, investors turned to other areas where property prices are lower, such as Hayle, leading to increased activity there.  Hot on the tail of the stamp duty change, and the unsettling Brexit result, St Ives was then hit by the results of the local referendum which called for the sale of new builds to be restricted to local buyers only.   The referendum result is now at the centre of a judicial review within the courts, but in the meantime it has served to make market conditions in the town even more challenging.  The upshot of this is that, in the St Ives area, the market has now swung into the buyer’s favour, which means that it is of the upmost importance that properties are priced correctly.  This is where working with a local estate agent who has knowledge and experience of selling in the area becomes essential.


Another town where pricing is key is Helston.  Some major changes at Culdrose have meant that the property market in the town, while still active, has become more competitive and favours the buyer.  Vendors should beware of unscrupulous or inexperienced agents who put an unrealistically high price on a property to secure the instruction, only to push for a price reduction a few short weeks later.


Along with increased activity in Hayle, Camborne and Redruth market places also continue to be extremely active.  Perhaps this is down to the realistic pricing in these towns, but whatever the reason, interest in these areas is building all the time.    Penzance continues to be popular with investors as well as people seeking a lovely family home.  Properties for sale in the town range from small flats at £75,000 up to a very regal home in Newlyn for £695,000.


In Falmouth and Truro a lack of properties coming up for sale means that the market tends to favour the sellers.  In Falmouth demand for homes across the property spectrum has been incredibly strong both pre and post the Brexit referendum.  Although the stamp duty changes earlier in the year initially dampened demand it has since bounced back, led largely by investors looking for property that can be let to the large student population in the town.  Indeed, it has not been unusual for houses to sell within days, or even hours, of being put on the market. Investors have been further encouraged by the record low interest rates which have enticed them back into the market.  With no sign of these changing in the foreseeable future this influence is set to stay.



In conclusion, whether the local market is favouring the buyer or the seller, home owners in Cornwall are continuing to sell their properties when they are properly priced, properly presented and they receive proper professional advice throughout the process.  Proper job!