A report says agents in the Cornish holiday home haven of St Ives admit the local market has been hit by a perception of disliking second home buyers.
Back in May the town voted heavily to ban the sale of future new-build homes to holiday purchasers but agents say this has been interpreted as being a ‘keep away’ message, even to second homers buying existing older houses.
The Daily Telegraph quotes Jeremy Miller of Miller & Son saying: “People are more cautious and are treading on egg shells a bit. They are still able to buy older properties but it is feared many second house-hunters are now looking elsewhere after not being made to feel welcome due to the public poll”.
He says sales in St Ives have "noticeably dropped" in recent months - with surrounding areas and towns seeing a slight increase.
Uncertainty in the market has been exacerbated by the Brexit vote and the three per cent stamp duty surcharge on second homes, he says.
The Telegraph also cites Mark Sellens, a director at Cross Estates, as saying second home buyers have been left confused by what the vote means. "At first people were confused about whether they could buy second homes. We absolutely need to tell them they are welcome" he says.
"We have seen approximately a 10 per cent drop in enquiries” he adds.
The town’s mayor, Linda Taylor, says there was concern the impact of the referendum had been misinterpreted by those seeking second homes.
She says: "People seem to think they are unable to buy second homes. That is not the case and it is important we get that message out there. The policy is clear and it only effects new build homes. New homes have to be for primary use but everything else can be purchased as normal.”