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North Cornwall has seen immense changes over the last two decades and David Robinson of Stags, Launceston office has been in practice in the area all of that time and has seen huge change, albeit in a series of very small stages. In days gone by, any property in Cornwall was considered a very poor cousin to other parts of the South West but thanks to so many little things the world’s perception has changed considerably - for the better. The A30 has literally driven the change as people discover how easy the access, is at Exeter, to the motorway network and therefore the rest of the UK.
The scheduled road widening over the next year or so, between Bodmin and Temple, will undoubtedly improve the situation. With the media driven awareness, through cooking and travel shows, which highlight the natural beauty and recreational facilities we are blessed with, such as the north Cornish coast and Bodmin moor, this will continue and make the region even more desirable. Another development has been the rollout of superfast broadband to ‘rural’ areas; this has coincided with a demographic shift in the type of typical buyer we are seeing at Stags, Launceston. Buyers were predominantly retirees with index linked pensions who (until the grandchildren arrive) are happy for relations to come and visit them in their rural or village idyll.
Nowadays the buyers are also the extended, three generation families who wish to pool their resources together, enjoy a better quality of family life and use the excellent road and rail links to commute to their place of work and keep in touch with their former friends and neighbours. They also wish to benefit from our excellent, local educational facilities, to which their very presence supports the future of small village schools.
The market itself is still performing but the forthcoming election has created an unusual set of conditions. The underlying trends are pointing towards a good market in the South West but, the ‘wait and see’ attitude has led to a lack of supply, which is providing frustrating to buyers who waited, generally in rented accommodation, over the last third of 2014. Consequently sensibly priced properties are being snapped up, as illustrated in an excellent level of sales achieved in January and February, aided in part by the recent Stamp Duty reforms, examples include Trefursdon, near Launceston, Stocks Cottage and Draynes House near Liskeard. Naturally when more supply arrives as people make the big decision to sell, post-election, equilibrium should be expected as the effect of a new Government will be factored in. There will be an anticipated influence with the forthcoming pension reforms and its direct effect on the buy-to-let market – which in turn, may have both a regional and national, detrimental effect on the residential property market as a whole.
In summary, the market has many variables but North Cornwall’s consistent attraction to buyers from far and away remains the constant draw to this beautiful region.