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Cornwall’s answer to St Tropez: Tiny St Mawes sees house prices soar

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Tucked away on the South-West Cornish coast, St Mawes has long had its admirers. 

It’s the home of a trio of high-end hotels and has been voted one of the UK’s hippest communities by website TravelSupermarket.

Former F1 team owner Frank Williams has a home there and the place is a favourite of royalty and politicians.

Hotspot: The average house in St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula is £994,000

Hotspot: The average house in St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula is £994,000

If that’s not enough, this tiny community of 800 people is now Britain’s property hotspot where house prices have soared an eye-watering 48 per cent in a year, according to the Halifax index.

This makes it one of the UK’s most expensive areas, alongside the likes of Sandbanks in Dorset and the second-home haven of Salcombe in Devon.

Not hard to see why. First, it’s in a beautiful stretch of Cornwall on the Roseland Peninsula, separated from much of the rest of the county by the River Fal.

The rolling countryside, sheltered coves and pretty beaches are a sharp contrast to the craggy coastline of North Cornwall.

And, as it’s a hefty six-hour drive from London or the Midlands, it exudes a sense of isolation and peace.

St Mawes is on the Roseland Peninsula, separated from the rest of the county by the River Fal

St Mawes is on the Roseland Peninsula, separated from the rest of the county by the River Fal

Second, the village itself is understated and charming. The 19-room Idle Rocks hotel, owned by another ex-F1 team owner — David Richards and his wife Karen — is an elegant seafront building.

Stroll up the hill — past the vintage Shell petrol pumps that have been preserved outside a former garage, and past the St Mawes Hotel, also owned by the Richards — and you reach the pristine whitewashed Hotel Tresanton. 

This is run by Olga Polizzi, daughter of catering tycoon Lord Forte; it’s a favourite of Prince Charles and Tony Blair.

Then there are St Mawes’s houses. They are not cheap, with an average price of £994,000 according to Zoopla.

It’s not only the picture-postcard location that makes them valuable: they also tend to be much larger than those found in most Cornish ports. 

Instead of converted fishermen’s cottages, you will find a mix of old and new houses, often detached on large plots. 

But the most striking thing in St Mawes is that it has little of the tourist frenzy found in Cornwall’s honeypots such as St Ives, Padstow, Newquay or Truro.

Instead, it’s generally quiet with a few tourist galleries, a butcher’s shop and a Co-op. And there’s a real upmarket Continental vibe.

‘Since the first lockdown there’s been a trend of second homeowners moving down, often permanently.

‘There are actually fewer holiday homes here than a year ago, many who own them now stay here full-time, or at least most of the time,’ says Mark Wilson, director of estate agency H. Tiddy, which has a 50 per cent market share of sales in the village.

He says that across the Roseland Peninsula he’s sold about £40 million of homes this year alone.

But not everyone is happy. There are campaigns across Cornwall to limit the number of second homes and cut back on Airbnb short-lets to reserve the maximum number of homes for local people.

'St Mawes in the summer is like the South of France,' according to one local

‘St Mawes in the summer is like the South of France,’ according to one local 

Peter Green, one of the fishermen in the recent BBC Two series This Fishing Life, says of his hometown: ‘St Mawes in the summer is like the South of France. 

Come here in winter and see the contrast, see the empty houses, see the dark roads where there are no lights on anywhere.’

Meanwhile, some staff working in the village’s pubs and restaurants complain that they have to live in Falmouth (a 40-minute scooter ride away) to find affordable homes to rent.

So will the end of the maximum stamp duty holiday and the relaxing of Covid restrictions change the picture?

‘I’m contacted by potential buyers every day, undeterred by the end of the main duty holiday and wanting to work from here rather than London,’ says Mark Wilson. St Mawes, it appears, for good or for bad, is firmly on the map. 

On the market… Pricey pickings 

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Homes near Elizabeth Line see asking prices double in a decade

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Asking prices for properties for sale near stations on London‘s new Elizabeth Line have more than doubled in a decade, new research has revealed.

Many areas near stations on the capital’s new high-speed line were previously less well connected to key commuter hubs, such as Liverpool Street or Paddington stations.

But they have seen a surge in property asking prices amid new interest from homebuyers and tenants due to the better transport links that the Elizabeth Line provides.

REVEALED: The asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

REVEALED: The asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Elizabeth Line hotspots: This two-bed flat in London's Windmill lane is o.2 miles from Maryland station and is for sale for £395,000 via Filtons estate agents

Elizabeth Line hotspots: This two-bed flat in London’s Windmill lane is o.2 miles from Maryland station and is for sale for £395,000 via Filtons estate agents

The new figures from Rightmove revealed the extent to which asking prices have risen in local areas around Maryland, Abbey Wood and Stratford stations.

Maryland Station in Newham, which provides an additional option for those commuting near well-connected Stratford, has seen the biggest jump in asking prices.

They have more than doubled compared to ten years ago, rising 108 per cent from £233,480 to £486,235.

This compares to the London average increase over the past ten years of 55 per cent.

About half a mile from Abbey Wood station is this two-bed flat for sale for £235,000 via Your Move estate agents

About half a mile from Abbey Wood station is this two-bed flat for sale for £235,000 via Your Move estate agents

Rightmove has identified the asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Rightmove has identified the asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Meanwhile, Rightmove revealed that total buyer demand has risen the most in western areas, while prices and competition has risen most in eastern areas.

Twyford, at the end of the western section of the line and the next stop along from Reading, has seen the biggest jump in the number of buyers contracting estate agents.

Numbers have more than tripled compared to 10 years ago, up 245 per cent.

Those looking to buy near Abbey Wood station, at the end of the South East section of the line, face the stiffest competition from other buyers.

Competition in that area has soared more than nine times and is up 869 per cent.

Rightmove has identified buyer demand hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Rightmove has identified buyer demand hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

The increase in buyer competition compared to ten years ago around the new Elizabeth Line has been revealed

The increase in buyer competition compared to ten years ago around the new Elizabeth Line has been revealed

Near Custom House station: This two-bed house is for rent for £1,700 a month via Outlook lettings agents

Near Custom House station: This two-bed house is for rent for £1,700 a month via Outlook lettings agents

The rental hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line station have been revealed

The rental hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line station have been revealed

It is a similar story along the Elizabeth line for tenants as many look to balance their commute into London with where they can afford to rent.

Average rents in London have reached a new record of £2,195 a month, up 14 per cent compared to this time last year.

Southall has seen the biggest increase in the number of tenants contacting letting agents compared to ten years ago, more than quadrupling, up 372 per cent.

However, asking rents near Southall station are lower than nearby Hanwell or Ealing.

Asking rents have increased the most in western stations Slough, up 44 per cent, and Burnham, up 43 per cent, while those looking to rent near Custom House station face the most competition from other tenants.

Slough is among the asking rent hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line stations, with the average asking rent up 44 per cent during the past ten years

Slough is among the asking rent hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line stations, with the average asking rent up 44 per cent during the past ten years

One of the new stations built for the Elizabeth Line - Custom House - has seen competition increase 3270 per cent compared to ten years ago

One of the new stations built for the Elizabeth Line – Custom House – has seen competition increase 3270 per cent compared to ten years ago

Custom House, one of the new stations built for the Elizabeth Line and benefitting from significantly lower travel times into Central London, has seen competition increase by a staggering 33 times, up 3270 per cent compared to ten years ago.

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘As the Elizabeth Line opens, it does so with a backdrop of record rents in London, a rising cost of living and a shortage of available homes.

‘Areas further out from central London that have lower asking prices or rents, but are now more easily commutable will be attractive to new buyers and tenants in search of somewhere affordable to live near the capital.

‘Not only this, but new working from home patterns since the pandemic started two years ago will have many people weighing up whether they are prepared to commute from further away if they need to do so less often.’

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National Maternity Hospital decision is a welcome sign of the Government’s backbone

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The Government’s decision to proceed with the building of the new National Maternity Hospital is a welcome sign that the Taoiseach and his Ministers are willing to face up to the Opposition, the social media mob and assorted objectors on an issue of major national importance.

One of the weaknesses of the Coalition since it took office in June 2020 has been a tendency to run scared in the face of contrived outrage, usually fomented by a combination of Opposition politicians and vested interests, often mistakenly portrayed as representing public opinion.

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URW rolls out Westfield brand to three new destinations

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Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) unveiled plans to rebrand three flagship centres, rolling out the Westfield brand to Parquesur in Madrid, Taby Centrum in Stockholm, and Galeria Mokotow in Warsaw this fall. The rebranding continues the expansion of the Westfield brand in Europe as the company drives new revenues through media advertising and brand experiences, turning its huge footfall of 550 million visits across its European assets into a qualified audience, while also leveraging the Westfield brand’s significant value to retailers, who see over 20%2 higher sales at URW’s centres even when compared to other A-category malls.

 

The flagship destinations share a number of characteristics in addition to being among the most important retail centres in their respective markets: they are set in excellent locations with unrivalled transport options, have distinctive architectural and design features and a best-in-class approach in terms of customer experience, community engagement, and sustainability practices. To celebrate the launch of the Westfield brand at these assets, each destination will host festive consumer events which will be announced later this year.

 

Caroline Puechoultres, Chief Customer Officer of URW, said: “The rebranding of these centres continues our strategy to expand Westfield to Flagship European destinations in the wealthiest cities and catchment areas. The significant opportunity afforded to both retailers and brands by this increasingly digitally linked network of destinations is unparalleled – through Westfield our partners can reach tens of millions of European consumers, driving new possibilities in advertising, brand marketing and retail.”

 

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