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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Holiday home sales holding up according to estate agency's figures

Holiday home sales in one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations are holding up, despite stamp duty and the age of austerity.

Figures prepared for the Daily Telegraph by Hamptons International show that back in 2010 seven per cent of properties bought in Cornwall were second homes. 

In 2017 - despite the three per cent stamp duty surcharge introduced on additional homes in 2016, and steep council tax increases on second homes in parts of the county - that figure was up to nine per cent.

The Hamptons data also shows that in 2016 and 2017 no fewer than 67 per cent of properties bought in the PL28 postcode - centred on North Cornwall favourites Padstow, St Merryn and Trevor - were second homes. 

The Rame peninsula near the border with Devon is next with 29 per cent, with St Ives on 24 per cent.

The high interest in second homes comes despite the St Ives referendum in 2016 which ended with a strong majority to ban the sale of future new-build houses and flats in the port to second homers. 

Similar measures have been backed in more recent times at St Minver - an area near Padstow which includes Rock - and the Rame peninsula; plans are afoot to vote soon on the issue in Mevagissey, too. 

Meanwhile the Cornwall Community Foundation, a charity set up in 2003 seeking to improve education and alleviate poverty in the county, is adopting a more novel approach to managing the effects of high levels of holiday ownership. 

It encourages such buyers to make a donation towards a range of community projects. In 2016 broadcaster and hotelier Alex Polizzi, herself a second home owner in the county, launched the initiative with a £5,000 donation.

The John Bray estate agency - which has branches on Rock and in another nearby Cornish second home enclave, Port Isaac -  backs the CCF initiative.

“By letting out their homes they encourage visitors who spend locally. No one wants a ghost village without facilities” says Jo Ashby, a partner in the John Bray agency. 

The firm calculates that 60 per cent of second home owners in parts of Cornwall let their properties to holidaymakers.

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