Go west for second homes that offer more

Cornwall's status as a holiday hotspot makes it a target for people wanting a dream property that pays. Monica Woodley takes a look around

Cornwall, a perfect location for a staycation. For many, the county offers riviera style without leaving Blighty. It was recently named the UK's best county for a holiday at the British Travel Awards and demand for holiday lets in the South West was up 70 per cent in the early months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010.

Although hit by the recession, second-home ownership in England was still at the second highest level on record in 2010, slipping slightly from 2009 levels (due to a decrease in second homes in London), according to the Knight Frank 2011 new build second homes report. Cornwall has been one of the main beneficiaries of the trend for holiday home ownership, with four towns ranking in the top five of most expensive seaside towns, according to the most recent annual Halifax seaside town review. The average home in Padstow is £381,916, £370,902 in nearby Wadebridge and £363,494 in Fowey.

"Demand in the market was depressed during the recession and its aftermath, but we found that activity was supported to some extent by families buying second homes, not just as a luxury, but as a safe haven for their money," said Miles Kevin, head of residential development for the South West at Knight Frank. "In terms of pricing, the best-known places such as Padstow, St Ives, Rock, Dartmouth and Salcombe have proved very resilient. These 'prime' areas in the South West can command an uplift in prices of up to 25 per cent."

Cornwall has seen several trends driving change in the local property market. Demand for larger houses has risen strongly over the past 12 months as more families choose "generational" holidays, with grandparents, children and grandchildren staying in the same holiday property. Mr Kevin confirms: "There is definitely a rising trend for larger properties as families look to holiday as an extended family or with friends."

It is also no longer seen as just a seasonal destination, with visitors coming only at Easter and summer half-terms. The growth of the holiday home market has led to people wanting to make use of their properties all year round. This has had an impact on local communities and the service industry. Where staff used to be hired seasonally, hotels and restaurants can train and keep their staff all year round. This has meant more jobs for the local communities but also better levels of service for visitors. People are now used to travelling abroad and experiencing high standards, and they are demanding that at home as well.

Cornwall is known for its beautiful landscape and coastline but its two coasts can offer different experiences. While Newquay is the most visited spot in Cornwall, known for its surf and party culture, the south coast is a bit quieter. But that does not mean there is not much to do. With attractions such as the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, scenic seaside villages and activities including canoeing, sea kayaking, horse riding, cycling, fishing and coastal cruises, there is plenty to keep holidaymakers entertained. Mr Kevin says: "In terms of areas, we think south Cornwall is the next up-and-coming area, as it is less developed than the north coast. The coastal areas around St Austell are stunning."

Banking on the appeal of this area is the Cornwall Hotel Spa and Estate. Set on 43 acres, the four-star hotel just outside St Austell opened in 2010 and is clearly aiming at luring the type of holidaymaker more used to boutique hotels in exotic destinations. The renovation of the central building, a manor house built in 1834, has made the most of its Victorian heritage and parkland setting, while still offering modern amenities. Its Arboretum Restaurant, with two AA rosettes, and Clearing Spa, with gym, infinity pool, sauna/steam room and five treatment rooms, add to the upscale feel.

The Cornwall Hotel has also added to the area's second home market with 22 "woodland homes". The homes are on the grounds of the estate and owners and guests benefit from membership at the spa and concierge service from the hotel. The homes come ready to use – fully furnished and equipped – at prices from £285,000 for two-bedroom homes and £340,000 for three bedrooms. Prices include 20 per cent VAT, which can be reclaimed if an income is earned from the home. Homebuyers can choose to keep their properties for their personal use but the Cornwall also offers three options for buying and letting, one of which guarantees an annual net return of 6 per cent, after service charge and running costs, for the first two years. This allows personal use of six weeks a year. There are plans to build up to 60 woodland homes on the estate.

Sales director Sam Weller says the woodland homes are ideal for the type of holiday-home owner he is seeing more of in Cornwall. "People want less fuss; their lives are busy enough. They want to be able to come down on holiday and have their home ready to use, with the fridge full and beds freshly made. They want to be able to forget about it when they're not there. However, they also want their home to generate an income – but again, without unnecessary fuss."

For Paul and Karen Lysley of north Wiltshire, ease and flexibility were key factors in their decision to buy at the Cornwall. "It's really handy that, having the hotel nearby, we don't have to think about having to clean our woodland home for the next person, whether that's family, friends or through the rental scheme," they say. "Staying in a home means you can cater for yourself but also have the luxury of the hotel's restaurant close by. And when our family comes in a big group they can stay in the hotel rooms or other homes just a short stroll away. It means we have the potential to have a once-a-year family gathering without it costing the earth."

Cornwall has become a more easily accessible destination for a relaxed weekend break, with improved infrastructure such as the A30 motorway to Exeter, Newquay airport and mainline trains. First Great Western trains take four hours and 15 minutes from London Paddington to St Austell, with 28 trains a day during the week, 20 on Saturdays and 17 on Sundays.

Of course, easy travel is not the only appeal of buying a holiday home in the UK – the fact that you do not have to deal with foreign laws and taxes, with contracts in another language, and can finance with British banks is a major attraction.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

    £60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

    Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

    £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

    AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

    £600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

    Technical Support Analyst (C++, Windows, Linux, Perl, Graduate)

    £30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global leader in trading platforms and e...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
    Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

    Hollywood targets Asian audiences

    The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial