‘Hundreds searching amid desperate housing need’

‘Hundreds searching amid desperate housing need’

The Ocean development site in Trewoon.

5th May 2021

By Natasha Swift

A shortage of homes available to rent and booming demand has seen one St Austell estate agent issue a desperate plea for properties to help house hundreds of renters.

Millerson Estate Agents says it is in “desperate need” of properties to let and has a register of hundreds of people looking for accommodation.

It said property is being snapped up within 24 hours of coming onto the market.
Issuing a “demand shortage” appeal on its Facebook page, Millerson said: “Our lettings team across Cornwall is in desperate need of properties that they can let out. We have a register of over 800 people looking for rented accommodation.

“We are letting property as fast as 24 hours. Please get in touch with us if you have property to let out.”

Millerson’s lettings manager in St Austell, Lizzie Collins, told the Voice: “The demand is so high we have been turning people away from registering on the waiting list as there is not much point. It’s just been manic.”

She said the lettings market in St Austell had always been in demand, but the pandemic has “just pushed that to the absolute max”.

“A lot of landlords have taken the opportunity to sell their investments while there’s no stamp duty.”

She said new regulations being introduced for landlords had “pushed them over the edge” and forced them to sell up as some of the new checks on properties cost more than £1,000.

“People have also re-evaluated where they want to live as they are working from home and house prices are cheaper here,” Lizzie said.

“This bubble will burst. People will get tired of working from home. People will want to go back out once it’s safe again and it will wear off.”

House prices have sky-rocketed in the town over the last year as people decide to relocate from other parts of the country to the area due to pandemic.

This is causing major issues across Cornwall.

The demand for homes in St Austell has become so high residents are even being contacted by would-be buyers asking them to sell their houses.

Manchester-based property buying company ExpressOffersToday.co.uk has written to residents in the town urging them to sell their properties for cash, but for much less than the current value.

Three-bed detached properties in St Austell are currently selling for in the region of around £300,000, but are estimated at being worth between £161,865 and £216,150 by Express Offers.

UK property sales are at a 16-year high as house prices soar, yet experts say there remains a serious shortage of affordable homes for residents, who are concerned that they may never be able to get their foot on the ladder.

Housing provider Ocean Housing, which is based in St Austell, is building a 100 per cent affordable development in Trewoon to help provide much-needed housing to both rent and buy.

The development, named Park Trevail, has 19 homes which are due for completion in January 2022.

A slightly larger project of 24 homes is also being built for Ocean in St Teath in north Cornwall.

Both developments, which will be owned and managed by Ocean, are 100 per cent affordable and will have a mix of homes available for shared ownership and social rent.

Mark Gardner, chief executive of Ocean Housing Group, said: “Cornwall’s property market is booming right now, though there is a serious shortage of affordable housing.

“We want to provide high-quality homes for families throughout the county, and our aim is to work with Cornwall Council and Homes England to create safe and secure communities for local people to live in.

“We are very grateful for their support in bringing these new schemes forward.”
Both schemes will have two- and three-bedroomed properties for shared ownership and rent, as well as one-bedroom flats for rent.

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