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What’s happening in the market?

The Corona Virus Pandemic has affected people worldwide. Many have lost loved ones and sadly more lives will continue to be lost.

A great deal has changed in the last 6 months or so and changes will continue to affect all our lives.

Most people involved in the market had high hopes for 2020. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit had been settled and there was a Government in place with a working majority.

The economy was showing signs of improvement and locally the Cornish housing market was starting to pick up. More property was becoming available and levels of transactions started to rise.

This all changed on March 16 with the imposition of Lockdown and the property market as with much of the economy ground almost to a halt.

During lockdown agents reported very little activity in terms of any new business, we carried out some surveys and valuations, but these were principally on sales that had been agreed prior to Lockdown.

The future was looking very uncertain, RICS issued guidance to us that any valuation provided at that time must include a comment as the high degree of uncertainty that could be attached to the valuation which was unprecedented.

But perhaps a glimmer of hope was that most of the sales agreed before March 16 continued to progress albeit slowly. Vendors and buyers were not withdrawing en mass citing the pandemic as a reason. Nonetheless all of us involved in the residential market locally were concerned.

The Government announced that on 13 May restrictions affecting the property market were to be eased and I think it’s true to say that what developed over the following few weeks was a surprise to most property professionals

Enquiries on property websites such as Rightmove reached record levels and the market locally rapidly bounced back to unprecedented levels. Rightmove in fact reported their busiest month for 10 year

I have been surveying and valuing property in Cornwall for over 35 years and cannot recall there having been a busier period.

From our perspective at DowlingDodd we are receiving instructions right across the market.

We have for instance carried out Homebuyers Surveys for Buy To Let Investors in Truro, Camborne and Redruth, Surveys for first time buyers in most of the towns we cover and villages such as Probus and Chacewater.

We have surveyed property for many local buyers some who are trading up and others downsizing.

We are always helping out of county buyers with advice on their move to Cornwall and this is one sector where there has been huge increase in demand.

In the last month or so we’ve been very busy in the well-known hot spots such as St Mawes, Port Isaac, Padstow, Portscatho and Mevagissey. The Building Surveys and Homebuyers Surveys that we have carried out have been for a mix of second home buyers and relocators with prices in some cases over £3 million.

These current levels are more than likely not going to be sustained and are in part a release of the pent-up demand that built up during lockdown.

There are definitely signs of a greater than usual demand from those looking to relocate into the county which has been bought about as a direct result of the Pandemic.

It is clear that Cornwall has suffered far less than the large urban centres in the UK and is perceived to be a safer place to live.

International travel restrictions mean that more are looking to holiday at home and where better than Cornwall.

The economy is now in recession and the truth is that a recession does not go hand in hand with a thriving property market. The current activity may well start to level off and decrease as the recession starts to bite. `

The Government has introduced a Stamp Duty Holiday until next March on sales up to £500,000.This would save a buyer of a £300,000 property £5,000 and a buyer of a £500,000 property £15,000 and is probably helping to stimulate the market to an extent but is seems to us that the biggest incentive is the desire to come and live in and share the benefits that we all enjoy in Cornwall.

The future remains uncertain but in past recessions many parts of Cornwall have faired better than other parts of the country.

It’s a well-worn adage but there is security in bricks and mortar, the speed of any economic recovery is dependent on so many factors and with the likelihood of continuing low interest rates mortgage borrowing remains affordable and  returns from rental property including holiday property are much higher that other investment alternatives.

Whether you are a first-time buyer, moving to a larger home, downsizing, buying a holiday home or investment we are here to help and advise you through the process.

We specialise in Building Surveys and Homebuyers Surveys so call to discuss and arrange a survey of your new home purchase with one of our experienced local surveyors for assurance that the home you have chosen is the right one for you.

Published 09 September 2020