Cornwall’s median house price now eight times the median salary

The median house price in Cornwall is more than eight times the median salary, new figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) calculate every year affordability ratios in England and Wales – looking at house prices and gross annual residence-based earnings. The higher the figure is, the higher the divide between house prices and salaries is and the less affordable the area is.

The latest figures were released in March. And they show that the median house price was £236,000 and the median annual salary £27,223 in Cornwall in 2020.

Median means that half the house prices and salaries were lower and half were higher.

In Devon, the median house price was higher in 2020, but so was the median salary.

Back in Cornwall, the affordability ratio of median house price to median gross annual residence-based earnings in 2020 was 8.67.

This means that local people need 8.67 times their salary to purchase a home in Cornwall.

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Ten years prior, in 2010, the median house price was £185,000 and the median annual salary was £22,080 – which means the affordability ratio was slightly lower, at 8.38.

In the last decade, the ratio has increased, however, many counties still had a greater ratio than Cornwall in 2020 – including Cambridge, Brentwood, Stratford-on-Avon, Daventry, Harrogate, etc. Epping Forest even reached 12.78.

Meanwhile, Plymouth’s ratio is only 6.79.

The ONS data also shows that the lower quartile house price and gross annual salary also increased in Cornwall.

In 2010, the lower quartile house price was £145,000. It was £173,000 in 2020. The lower quartile gross annual salary was £16,316 in 2010 and £19,396 in 2020.

Houses in St Ives
(Image: Getty Images)

The coronavirus pandemic caused a property crisis in Cornwall, where people have been buying houses without even looking at them in person.

Record numbers of people have been hoping to move to Cornwall according to Rightmove, with a crush of buyers wanting to live here year-round, partly prompted by people wanting to avoid living in a city and employers offering more flexible remote working.

Since May last year, the property market in Cornwall has exploded in demand. Cornwall has actually replaced London as the number one place people are looking up on Rightmove, new statistics from the site revealed, raising concerns over the future of the property market in the county.

Newquay is the most searched for towns for buyers:
(Image: PA)

Some are claiming that they are being “gazumped” – a term for when someone sneaks in with a higher offer after yours was already accepted – and say some buyers from outside Cornwall are able to put in offers “tens of thousands over the asking price”, without even viewing the homes.

But estate agent Lillicrap Chilcott said earlier this month there is more property changing hands between locals through the estate agents now than there was four years ago.

Thirty per cent of their latest sales were people moving into Cornwall from outside the county and buying a main home – and 20 per cent were people buying an extra house, and some of those came from Cornwall.

However, they is a shortage of properties to sell, and renters are also struggling.

There is also a reduction in availability of properties to rent and people are saying they are being priced out of their hometowns.

Morag Robertson, of St Ives Community Land Trust, previously said homes are simply “unaffordable” for local people now in the desirable town.

She said: “People earning £18,000 to 20,000, they’re never going to get onto the property ladder when average prices are around the £350,000 mark, and that also reflects back into the rental market.

“So the unaffordability of renting too becomes an issue for local people as they grow-up.”

The top ten most searched for towns for buyers:

Data: Rightmove

1. Newquay

2. Truro

3. Falmouth

4. St Ives

5. Penzance

6. Bude

7. Hayle

8. St Austell

9. Looe

10. Padstow

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