Tourism offers a two edged sword for property sales in popular areas.
In many of the UK’s coastal resorts, the property markets are kept afloat by buyers of holiday homes or properties for short-term summer lets.
However, the downside of this is that housing prices in rural areas, where jobs are often seasonal and low paid, are kept high.The buoyant tourist demand for property can sometimes effectively price out first time local buyers keen to get onto the property market.
This is being partly offset by developments deliberately designed to provide affordable housing for local people. One such Coastline Housing development, in Crowntown, near Helston in Cornwall, this week received a welcome Royal visit from HRH Sophie the Countess of Wessex.
The Plovers Field development was completed earlier this year and comprises 12 properties for affordable rent and 6 properties for part-buy, part-rent, for local people who wished to get a foot on the property ladder with a shared ownership home.
HRH was delighted to be greeted by rows of school children from nearby Sithney School waving flags. She was also pleased to meet with representatives of the Parish Council, the over 60s, Sithney and Breage Rainbows and Rev Peter Johnson with the church wardens of Sithney Parish Church.
Among those meeting HRH was Peter Bickford Smith, landowner of the site and former Chair of Sithney Parish Council, who worked closely with the council and Coastline Housing to bring the site forward for development and provide much needed homes for local people.
The Countess of Wessex toured the development, meeting with two local families who had secured affordable homes in the area thanks to their local connection with the parish.
Coastline Housing secured over £500,000 of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to develop the properties, an area of open space for public use, and a car park for the nearby Sithney School.
The homes were completed by Kier Living in less than a year, with local families proudly moving into the properties early in 2017.
Amy Jenkin, Development Manager at Coastline Housing had the honour of introducing HRH to the project team and local residents on the day of the visit. She said:
“We were incredibly proud to host a visit from HRH the Countess of Wessex and prouder still to show her around a development which has provided so many local people who were in housing need with homes to call their own. We hope they will be very happy for many years to come.”