The beautiful seaside village of Cornwall where locals desperately want wealthy Londoners to stop buying second homes

With a magnificent stretch of sandy beach, dubbed “one of the UK’s finest surfing beaches”, it is no surprise that the idyllic village of Polzeath in Cornwall has become a hub for tourism.

Last year, TV chief Gordon Ramsay spent his confinement in a £ 4.4million house near the region.

Even David Cameron has vacationed at the local beach every year during his five years as Prime Minister.

However, residents are painfully aware that Polzeath is no longer just a tourist destination, but rather a hotspot for wealthy Londoners and others outside of Cornwall to buy second homes.

READ MORE:The beautiful hidden beach untouched by tourists 2 hours from London with some of the ‘best views’ in the UK



A surfer crosses an empty beach in Polzeath

The influx of foreigners setting up holiday homes in the village has caused real estate prices to skyrocket.

Rightmove lists the average property price in Polzeath as an astonishing £ 919,818, an impressive 36% increase since 2019.

On social media, one person asked: “Are there really any locals still living in Polzeath?

Sarah Myford, who has lived in the area for over 45 years, told My London the problem has long affected her family.

“I couldn’t dream of buying property in the area where I grew up (and my kids) unless I won the lottery,” she said.

Sarah currently lives in a communal house, while her son lives in a caravan on their route and her daughter has to live in a local campsite without water or a kitchen.

“I’m really scared for my children, the grown-ups are lifeguards on the beach, but how are they going to be able to afford to stay? “

Sarah believes second homes as well as an increase in Airbnb properties in the area are contributing to the problem.

She also believes that celebrities such as Prince Harry and Prince William, both of whom have both been spotted surfing the area before, are making the area more attractive to those looking to buy a second home.



Polzeath Beach in Cornwall is very popular

“Once it becomes the place to be, it snowballs.

“I think the huge price increase is because people looking to buy seem to have bottomless pockets and houses tend to go to the highest bidder.”

According to Hamptons estate agents, Londoners bought a record 61,000 homes outside the capital in 2021 alone.

About 20 percent of these homes were purchased by investors or second home buyers.

Chris Clifford, residential sales manager for Savills Cornwall, said Polzeath is “primarily second home oriented”.

“With the properties we sold in Polzeath this year, 100% [of buyers] came from outside the county.

He suggested that while the buyers were not from London, they were coming from other places in the South East.

He added that the pandemic has not changed the situation in Polzeath, with the number of people buying second homes in the village rather part of a long-term trend.

One person on social media suggested that many buyers are buying second homes in the village without even seeing them first.

Offering a solution to the problem, they suggested that buyers be granted “mandatory residency on purchases for at least eight months a year.”



David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron visit sit on a bench outside a cafe overlooking Polzeath Beach

Local resident Richard Wale, 25, owns several properties in Polzeath.

He was offered £ 3million for a property, which his family bought for £ 120,000 in 2000, so it could be turned into eight smaller properties.

“Undoubtedly, the local people born here cannot afford to live here. It is a crying shame, ”he said.

He added that it was no longer a “traditional Cornish village” and that house prices had gone up because of the celebrities there.

“It’s a beautiful place. People come here and want a part of it,” he said.



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Bella Smith, 21, has staged a protest demanding action on what she calls the “Cornwall housing crisis”.

Speaking to CornwallLive, she said: “Cornish people, from young people in retail to new families and near-old people, have been completely cut off from the opportunity to access affordable housing.”

The demo has its own Facebook page, created by Bella, which states, “We deserve affordable housing and rental properties.

“Cornwall is not a playground, it is not just a tourist hot spot and a great place to live by the beach if you have the money – this is our home, it is our culture, our family, our friends, our livelihood – and we can’t even afford to live here.

“No more second homes. No more exorbitant rents. No more vacation rentals on council houses. Enough is enough.”

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