10 days ago, I posted a quick article on our business Facebook page about the stamp duty holiday and how in my opinion its fuelled the housing crisis in West Cornwall. I had no idea that this little article would make such big waves.
So here it is – A Housing Crisis in West Cornwall
The Stamp Duty Holiday
The upside of the stamp duty holiday is that our economy has been given a quick adrenaline shot in the arm. Just about every popular tourist area of the country, especially here in West Cornwall, has seen a stampede of potential house buyers.
The downside is that a lot of these properties are going to second home owners and with the demand massively outstripping supply, prices have gone through the roof.
The effect on the Hayle rental market
This means that there’s now even less residential rental properties on the market than ever. For every 2 bedroom terrace house in Hayle we advertise, we get around 100 enquiries in 24/48 hours.
Second Homes and Holiday Lets Property Owners
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising the second home buyers. Let’s be honest, most of us would do the same if we had the money. Its not their fault and in a lot of ways these cash rich buyers help keep a lot of smaller local businesses afloat.
What we need now to reduce the housing crisis in West Cornwall
But we desperately need more affordable housing stock for locals. Probably with caveats for resale to ensure the properties stay in local hands and stays affordable.
I’ve been thinking about this situation more since my article and to me there are actually three things that need to change before we can begin address this housing crisis:
- Lots of genuinely affordable housing stock for locals to buy. And I mean affordable. A slight discount off a £300k house is not going to work in West Cornwall, especially considering most people here are earning on, or just above the minimum wage.
- Many many more Council Houses/Social Housing. Cornwall is one of the poorest counties in the country and a huge swathe of the population will never be able to buy their own home but they should still be afforded the dignity of a forever home.
- A hefty tax on second homes that are bought for personal use and properties bought as a holiday lets. I know this one will be contentious, as holiday lets are needed. After all we’re a county that heavily relies on tourism, so I’m not suggesting biting off the hand that feeds. But the situation has got out of hand and until some cold water is thrown on this particular fire, the housing crisis in West Cornwall will only get worse.