Land Registry figures released today show that house prices in Cornwall continue to fall more slowly than the UK as a whole.
Although house prices in Cornwall fell 15% (£27,787) in the past year, at £181,878 the average house price in Cornwall is still £28,920 above the national average. The average house price in England and Wales has fallen by 16.5% in the past year.
At the same time as higher house prices, average incomes in Cornwall remain £3000 below the national average according to the most recent figures – and it is likely to have fallen further in the current economic climate, especially as unemployment climbs across the county.
Taken together with the withdrawal of 100% mortgages, and higher interest rates for those with small deposits, Cornish first time buyers continue to be priced out of the market worse than almost anywhere else in the UK.
Meanwhile, demand for social housing across the County is set to soar as unemployment increases. The latest Government figures show that although unemployment across Cornwall remains below the national average, it is unlikely to stay this way for long.
The parliamentary constituency of Truro and St Austell is in the top 40% of the country for unemployment increases in the past year with 1000 more people claiming job seekers allowance than this time last year – an increase of 105%. Across Cornwall as a whole, unemployment has increased by 100%, nearly 5000 more people.
Commenting, Matthew Taylor, MP for Truro and St Austell said: “With unemployment rising so quickly it is clear that the worst is yet to come for Cornwall. The fact that house prices remain so much higher, and wages so much lower, only adds to the gloomy picture.
“Hopefully the weaker pound will lead to more domestic and foreign tourists choosing to take their summer holidays in Cornwall which would be a welcome boost for our economy, but there is a desperate need for more genuinely affordable housing earmarked for local people.”