Rise up, Cornwall, against London’s SUV drivers lusting for a second home | Catherine Bennett

Rise up, Cornwall, against London’s SUV drivers lusting for a second home | Catherine Bennett

A pandemic-inspired bidding frenzy has spurred residents to resist the invasion

As the longer-term psychological and social impacts of Covid begin to reveal themselves, one substantial group is already displaying a mental shift that could inflict lasting damage if only, mercifully, on other people. The pandemic did not merely change this demographic, it inspired in its members an identical quest: they must own property in Cornwall.

With infections subsiding, the fixation has only intensified: searches for property in Cornwall, at 5m in a month, have overtaken those for London. Estate agents struggle with the demand, maybe 60 inquiries per house, with places bought unseen, rival bids, the rental market also soaring beyond local means and ostensibly unalluring properties sold in hours or less. A local headline announces: “Port Isaac bungalow sells in just five minutes as Cornwall housing madness continues.” A bigger, £4.5m house in Polzeath, no matter that its beach is indelibly associated with a glistening David Cameron, secured an offer from buyers who’d only seen it online.

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