More and more Brits seem to be turning their backs on owning second homes abroad and are now buying in the UK. Estate agents, Savills claim that there has been a sharp growth in the sales and demand of second homes in the UK due to a weaker sterling and the availability of more affordable UK properties. According to data to be release by Savills later this week, second homes’ sales worth £500,000 and above grew by 40 per cent in the last three months of 2009 compared to the three-year average. This compares with an uplift of just 10 per cent in total prime regional transactions.
Cornwall appears to be the most popular second home destination in UK with annual house price growth at 16.6 per cent as compared to the overall prime regional second homes market at 5.21 per cent . Second home ownership in Cornwall is only marginally lower than that of primary residency properties with 43 per cent of prime stock in Cornwall sold to second home buyers.
Sales in the traditionally strong market of Fife, Scotland, where second homes account for 25 per cent of prime properties was weak with 0.8 per cent growth and a 19 per cent house price growth.
Almost 90 per cent of second homes in Cornwall and other UK second home destinations are domestic and emanate from the wealth of London’s financial sector which has led to some of the most volatile price fluctuations of the downturn. Buyers’ from the ‘City’ (London’s financial sector) accounted for 38 per cent of second home sales and 55 per cent of second home sales between £1m- £2m.
Lucian Cook, director at Savills, said “Early signs this year are that second home turnover is back in lin e with the market average, though it is too early to get a firm read of how the election and increased taxes and the City bonus factor will affect the market.”
Martin Lamb, head of Savills Exeter, said: “The top end of our market is driven by cash and prices for the best properties are hardly off 2007 values. We now have far more buyers out looking for second homes worth £2m than we have buyers looking for more modestly priced homes to live in.”
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