South West reigns supreme for second month

Propertyfinder.com says the South West has continued to be the most searched region for the last two months running.

Continued appetite for second homes in the area has been the main cause behind the boom.

Nicholas Leeming, director of propertyfinder.com, says: “The housing market is suffering from a lack of availability of mortgages, but the second homes market is much less susceptible to this.

“Many second home buyers are cash purchasers, and it’s relatively easy for others to extend the mortgage from their main home to raise finance for the second home.”

Propertyfinder.com says that markets in traditional second home locations have been much less impacted by the slowdown and that searches in the top three counties are up 80% or more from March last year.

The top three counties over the month all fall in the South West.

Popular second home destination, Cornwall, was by far the most searched for county in the UK for property with nearly 25% more searches per household than Dorset which took second place.

Devon came in at third closely followed by Northumberland and Somerset and Shropshire took joint fifth position.

Leeming adds: “Despite the wider housing market cooling there are certainly still buyers out there – our leads to agents are up 10% from February to March so some people are still serious about buying.

“The second homes market can be a mixed blessing. Although it can stimulate local economies, it can also push house prices out of reach of local people.

“If the second homes market continues to outpace the wider market, there is a risk that housing wealth will become increasingly concentrated in the hands of few.”