One of Cornwall’s leading estate agents is going back to his roots to create a niche, high-end property agency for Cornwall.

After 25 years working in Cornwall’s prime residential markets, most recently as a senior director at Savills, Jonathan Cunliffe has decided to branch out on his own.

He said: “As my managerial work expanded and I spent more and more time working away from Cornwall, I got to really miss actually dealing with people who want to buy and sell their homes.

“Setting up my own firm is a big move, but estate agency has and is changing so much: while the Internet dominates much of the market, in recent years I’ve seen a trend for more properties in the prime market changing hands without any online presence at all.

“Love it or loathe it the Internet has removed some privacy – and many people don’t want everyone to know their business. Talking with clients and potential clients – particularly those at the higher end of the market – I am more than ever convinced we should be moving towards a ‘private listings’ model – just as some agencies in London already are.”

Another prompt for Cunliffe has been the changing property scene within Cornwall itself with a decline in the numbers of people seeking second or retirement homes and a huge increase in people choosing to relocate and live here.

“Many people yearn for the incredible life balance Cornwall offers and I include myself and my family in that,” he added. “Even if we have to travel for work our train network and the Newquay air links make it all possible.

“Meanwhile where the Internet really can be a force for good is enabling people to work globally while basing themselves right here in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.”