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Graham Awards


Is Cornwall Still A Solid Property Investment?

The days of Cornish property selling unseen, over the asking price, overnight, are a long and distant memory.

The prime Cornish market has settled down and is much more obvious to navigate. But what are buyers looking for, what are they prepared to pay, and what are vendors prepared to sell for?

Josephine Ashby of John Bray Estates says: “During the summer of ’23 vendors were still gunning for big money, but thankfully it’s now become clear to sellers that prices have adjusted, and the market has settled into a healthier and more manageable state. The impasse has passed!


“There’s plenty to choose from, so buyers can take time to assess and think without feeling rushed into a decision;; but they shouldn’t assume they can run away with a steal. Prices may not be going up, but on the whole properties are being marketed at a realistic level. There may be a little room for manoeuvre in some cases, but buyers are active and seriously looking, and there is still competition for the best properties.

Who is buying and what are they looking for?

“During the pandemic, lots of people who had no previous connection with Cornwall were suddenly buying in the county, but that was unusual. Buyers generally have some association with the area, either from holidaying, or due to long term family ties. There are currently lots of buyers moving within the area and we’re also seeing the young retired, moving from London or the home counties, and looking for a main home. There’s a big demand for properties with annexes to satisfy multi-generational buyers, or as a means of generating an extra income.

“As far as supply is concerned, this may be the best time for buyers. Vendors tend to be reluctant to launch a property onto the market in the run up to an election, so come the new year, prospective sellers will be waiting to get an idea of when the election is likely to take place before deciding to sell, so we’re not expecting a huge increase in supply.

Where are buyers looking?

“When the market was under-supplied, buyers were heading off-piste and increasing their radius of search away from the prime areas. Now thatsupply has increased, buyers are looking for ‘safe’ investments; prime coastal, or for those who don’t want to pay the premium, a slightly larger property inland in a good village with a quieter vibe, and an active community, something that has become more important than ever.

“Historically there was a trend for buyers to start their Cornish life in a small coastal property, then to move inland to something larger. Now we’re seeing more buyers looking inland at the outset with a view to establishing themselves in a community early on, and potentially avoiding the high costs of selling and buying at a later date.

What the best holiday homes will look like in ‘24

“The classic Cornish cottage, architecturally pleasing and well located on the coast or in a pretty inland village, will sell in any market. 

“Equally popular are holiday restricted properties on status developments that are close to the beach and facilities, have good eco credentials, plus other bells, and whistles such as gyms, tennis court and swimming pools. 

“There are several examples of this kind of iron-clad holiday development in North Cornwall. Highcliffe sits in a prime spot between Trebetherick and Polzeath. Owners have membership of a state of the art gym, fitness studio, café and tennis courts. 

“Polzeath Beach House apartments overlook at the beach and ocean at New Polzeath and have a concierge service, bar and restaurant, and boutique hotel rooms for overflow guests.

“The apartments at the St Moritz Hotel, located between Rock and Polzeath, have all the benefits of a serviced environment and owners have access to all the leisure facilities including indoor pool, sauna, steam room, outdoor pool, fully equipped gym, Cowshed spa and treatment rooms, tennis court, restaurant, bar, lounge and games room and landscaped gardens.

Apartment 5, St Moritz



“With rising energy costs and environmental awareness at the forefront of buyers’ minds, EPCs are becoming increasingly relevant when it comes to property choice. And B-rated properties are catching the attention of serious buyers for all the obvious reasons. 

“Quality of insulation, windows, heating systems and solar panels are all major selling points.” 

Skylark, Port Isaac


 Timber clad, well-insulated and with an EPC B-rating, Skylark is set in 1.3 acres and has outstanding ocean views. £1.5m freehold.


Holiday homes – the clue is in the title

“While there’s been a revival in demand for a project, this has come largely from buyers looking for a full-time property. Holiday home buyers want something that’s practical and easy to maintain then lock up and leave. They’re looking to minimise hassle and maximise enjoyment; everybody’s to-do list is already too long!

“For buyers looking for an extra income to offset running costs, a bijou bolthole in Port Isaac is fairly fool proof. The village has a great year-round atmosphere, all the local facilities anybody could want, a great harbour, and fabulous restaurants. Demand for rentals is consistent and the season is long, so occupancy levels tend to be high, especially if a property has parking.”


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