The secret isn’t ‘just out’ as the phenomenon of people escaping to Cornwall has been prevalent for years. A trawl of the internet will provide many tales of why individuals have left the large towns and cities for a change of pace, for work and for love and through their tales is the common thread – the perceived ‘quality of life’ – a chance to slow down, enjoy the environment, live, work and raise a family.
Perhaps any recent upsurge might be explained by a raised celebrity profile, with Rick Stein restaurants, Richard and Judy, Gloria Hunniford, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Andrew Ridgley and many more having known associations with the county either with main or second at some time or another. The successful Doc Martin Television series has brought the charms of a simple seaside existence to everyone’s front room.
Add to the rose tinted view of cliff top walks, a plethora of beaches and surf, and harbour side lunches, the improved road, rail and air travel links make travel and commuting far less painful than it was 20 years ago. And the prospect of super-fast broadband connections will enhance the prospect of a realistic remote working environment and growth of business located away from cities.
The retirement, second home and ‘buy to holiday let’ markets have always been a draw and consequently were popped into the blame pot when considering the lack of employment opportunities and affordable homes for locals and the subsequent exodus of the young. However, the popularity of the County has added ‘property investment’ to the equation. Property prices are now no longer low when compared to more central parts of the country. Building and refurbishment services, estate agents, solicitors and surveyors are all in demand and help grow the economy. Decentralized Public sector jobs have made the trek to the South West easy for those workers offered relocation packages. The consequent regeneration of the County brings more employment creation with Truro showing the way by offering good town facilities of eateries and pubs, shops, major supermarkets and schools climbing the league tables coupled with low crime.
And when St Ives and Rock are no longer available to mortal folk then the next best thing quickly becomes hot. Much like the practice of buying property adjacent to popular boroughs in London, then perhaps likewise less popular Cornwall villages and towns, a little further from the beach, but still with potential will be the next property investment.
Is it likely to change? Who knows, and it could. But our view is that Cornwall still has a lot going for it. Holidays in the UK is on the up as the Euro exchange rate kills your spending on the continent and a little cottage for a week looks much better value. There is no sign of the property market crashing. Drifting lower, yes, but not crashing. The surf and the lifestyle remains a lure and as the major towns and cities in the rest of the UK continue to make the headlines for the wrong reasons. The future could be bright – let’s hope so.