New figures show Cornish house sales still strong


House sales in Cornwall remain strong according to new figures released  by Stephens Scown, despite the global recession and falling house prices across the south west.

The regional legal firm’s St Austell office received almost 700 instructions last year (2008/09) and handled over 1,000 sales in the same period – almost four houses a day or one house sale every two hours.  

Solicitors working at the company’s Truro office received 323 instructions last year (2008/09) – only three down on the previous year (326 in 2007/08).

Simon Rogers, associate and team leader of the residential property team at Stephens Scown in Truro said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and show that, from our perspective, the property market in Cornwall is holding its own in the current climate. It’s a pretty tremendous achievement.

“Although we cannot do a complete year-on-year comparison in St Austell with the previous financial year because of a merger with Graham & Graham, the number of sales handled by Stephens Scown during 2008/09 certainly surpassed our expectations. We are taking a cautiously optimistic view of the year ahead, but the indications from these figures are very good.”  

These statistics from Stephens Scown support recent evidence from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors of an increase in activity in the market. The RICS UK Housing Market Survey (April 2009) showed both sales and new buyer enquiries had taken an upturn. 

This despite the Department of Communities and Local Government reporting that annually, house prices in the South West had fallen by 14.4%. 

Simon added: “We are confident there will be tentative improvements in the market place in Cornwall over the next few months, as house prices begin to stabilise. There could also be an increase in the number of properties coming onto the market during the course of the year.”

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