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Talking property with Jonathan Cunliffe

Back in our fifth volume, we caught up with Jonathan Cunliffe, who showed us that despite facing tough times in recent years, there has been something of a revival happening in Cornwall’s prime property market. Three months on, in light of the recent lockdown, he delves a little deeper into its effects on the market, and highlights a growing trend of interest in Cornwall’s most sensational homes.

With an average selling price in 2020 standing at more than £1.75M, Jonathan has recently concluded three sales well above £2.5M – testament to the growing interest in Cornish homes since the easing of the nationwide lockdown.

“The prime market in Cornwall [that is, properties valued at £1.5M and above] had a very rough time for many years up until summer 2019,” Jonathan explains, “with properties in the £2M to £3M range often taking years to sell. Over the course of the last year, we have seen this come down to weeks or months, so it’s certainly the best market for sellers of prime property in Cornwall since before the financial crisis in 2007/8.”

So what effect has this had on property prices here? Again, he points us to the prime market, explaining how properties in this bracket “have been in the doldrums for many years”, with little or no growth from 2006/7 until summer 2019. “But,” he continues, “we have seen prices at last showing growth over the last year, partly because buyers can now see value, and also room for future growth.”

Onto the kinds of properties that are yielding the most interest and it is as varied as you might expect in Cornwall. “We are seeing demand for all types of property,” explains Jonathan, and while there is renewed interest for waterside property, “it is also obvious that the experience of the recent lockdown has increased the appeal of country houses with larger gardens and grounds.”

I ask him what advice he would give to anybody thinking of buying a home in Cornwall, to which he replies that the most important thing is to spend time here, getting to know the areas as well as possible. “In geographical terms, Cornwall is a long county, and each part of it has a very different personality.”


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