A Truro estate agent has said he feels “sympathy” for anyone trying to buy a home in Cornwall, as the city’s house prices continue to skyrocket. As the housing market continues to spiral out of control, even those who work in it have been left scratching their heads.
Figures from property site Rightmove recently stated that Truro (and its direct surroundings) was the city area with the second highest growth in house prices in the entire country. Truro’s average asking prices grew by 14.8% on last year, eclipsing the national average of 9.9%.
The massive rise in both house prices and average rents, across Cornwall, is largely being seen as a symptom of the county’s housing crisis. Driven in large part during the pandemic, where demand rose for living in Cornwall, locals have been left to pick up the pieces with housing scarcities and record-high numbers of people without a place to live.
David Mills, an estate agent covering Truro and the surrounding area from Mount Hawke, Stithians, and out to Trispen and St Mawes (TR1, 2, 3 and 4), said the current cost of a home is the highest he’s ever seen. “I think it’s property dependent,” he said.
“I had one over bank holiday weekend where in excess of 100 people contacted me to arrange viewings. We had 24 viewings over a weekend and then multiple offers.
“That house then went well in excess of its asking price. But then there are others which are sitting around on the market for a long period of time, not everyone wants to work on one.”
He said that anything below £400,000 goes “pretty rapidly,” and that the last three years there’s been a “huge increase” in how much the average house goes for across Truro. Pointing to a house price index using a hypothetical property on Moresk Road, Mr Mills outlined the following increases in the last 12 months:
- Apartments: +10%
- Terraced houses: +14.4%
- Semi-detached houses: +16.11%
- Detached houses: +16.92%:
This, he said, has not necessarily been driven by people moving into Cornwall from afar – but that there was an “influx” when working from home first became more popular in the early days of Covid. Mr Mills continued: “ I’m not a huge agent so I don’t need to sell a huge amount to survive.
“But in the last 12 months, out of all the properties I’ve sold there was only one bought as a second home, and one person moving from out of county into Cornwall. All the others have been local buyers looking to upsize or downsize.
“With Covid, I do think a lot of people realised they can work from home and don’t need to work from an office. That had a huge influx wanting to move into county.
“But around here, you have a city location with all the retail units available on your doorstep. You can jump in your car and within ten miles you’re on the coast. There’s so many different places, by living in Truro city. Those stats from Rightmove are pretty crazy.
“It being the second highest hotspot for asking price growth is unbelievable.”
Mr Mills, an estate agent for nine years, said while he didn’t see the last housing boom before the 2008 recession, the current state of things are the “craziest” he’s seen.
He added: “I sympathise with anyone looking to purchase as it’s so, so difficult. That many people are looking to buy and a massive lack of properties on the market. Again that’s a reason for prices going up. If there were more available it wouldn’t be as high.”
It’s not just house prices, rents have also become higher than ever before. Mr Mills, who is not a rental expert, said a house he used to rent in Threemilestone for £695 now costs £950.
He described this as “bonkers”, and said rental prices compared to pre-Covid are “absolutely insane.”