Cornwall most sought-after location as people hunt for dream home by the coast

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Property website Rightmove said there were more than five million searches for homes in the county in February alone. And it has now overtaken London as the most searched-for area ­with more looking for large detached properties. Devon is third on the list, reflecting the rise in popularity of homes ­outside of cities. Rightmove compared searches in January and February with the same period last year, to show ­how trends have changed after a year of lockdowns. Searches for the village of Stithians in Cornwall were up by 224 percent compared with a year ago. Interest in Polperro, also in Cornwall, had increased by 203 percent.

They were the biggest annual increases across Britain while ­many rural regions also saw huge surges of ­interest.

Searches for properties in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, rose by 189 percent.

Dorset also jumped into the top 10, after being 20th a year ago, as people search for attractive countryside and seaside locations such as Poole.

There has been a notable increase in people who live in cities inquiring about a property in rural areas, the website also said.

The biggest shift has been in London, where a year ago ­39 percent of house hunters were inquiring about properties outside the capital. This has jumped to more ­than half.

Renters are also searching for more space. A year ago, the most sought-after property type for tenants was a two-bed room flat. This has been replaced by a two-bed semi.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “The ­stand-out trends over the past year have been increased demand for countryside and coastal living, more people making the dream of a detached home a reality, and the increased appeal for a garden.

“The huge population of London means that traditionally it’s the most searched-for location on Rightmove.

“But the appeal of the coast and the countryside over the past year has seen Cornwall crowned the new champion this year.

“More space has always been the most common reason for ­people moving. But the ­evolution ­for many from balancing their laptop on ­a bed last March ­to making an ­office ­a permanent addition, whether that’s by converting a ­bedroom, garage ­or shed, has led to ­a need for even ­bigger homes. This is evident with five-bed detached homes seeing the biggest growth in sales, and two-bed homes ­becoming the most sought after for people renting.”

Emma Ward, director at Goundrys estate agents in Cornwall, said: “Detached homes have been flying off the shelves.”

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