Couple with £500,000 to spend priced out of home county by wealthy buyers

Couple with £500,000 to spend priced out of home county by wealthy buyers

High Street in Honiton, Devon famous by antique shops
Devon’s housing market has been inflated by demand from people moving into the picturesque area (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

A couple with half a million quid to spend say they could be forced out of their hometown because out-of-towners have driven up property prices.

The pair have lived in Devon for 60 years but a property shortage fuelled by the county’s popularity with second home owners could push them out.

The retiring couple, who worked as farmers in east Devon and asked not to be named, say they may have to move as far afield as Scotland or Wales.

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Getting a viewing is hard enough, they say, but competing with wealthy buyers in the area they’ve called home most of their lives is even harder.

The wife said: ‘At this rate we could end up in a tent in a field.

‘The last straw was today when we had a viewing cancelled. The agent said the executors had taken an offer. 

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‘How do they know we weren’t going to make a higher offer?’

Beach in Sidmouth, Devon, South of England.Beach in Sidmouth, Devon, South of England.
It’s not uncommon for houses to sell well above the initial asking price amid bidding wars in popular spots (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

She said one viewing was turned down because 20 viewings had already booked in, while others in the area have told her how their own offers have been ‘gazumped’ by as much as £30,000.

Estate agents in East Devon said demand was 100 times higher than the number of houses available.

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At Stags in Honiton, partner Kevin Clarke confirmed the shortage: ‘I really do feel for this couple. There’s a lot of stressed buyers out there.’

He added: ‘There just aren’t that many properties available to buy at the moment, although this is improving now at the time of the year. 

‘The number of buyers is very high. We live in a beautiful part of the country and lots of people want to live here.’

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Angry vandals' have targeted a second home in Cornwall with graffiti - as frustration grows at the lack of affordable properties for locals. See SWNS story SWBRvandal. The property in the seaside village of St Agnes believed to be a holiday home has been vandalised with a clear message to the owner. The graffiti spells out:
Cornwall has seen similar problems and some holiday homes have been targeted by protesters (Picture: SWNS)

At Wilkinson Grant in Topsham, Jenny Pickford said: ‘I have absolutely nothing to offer in that price range. Most of what we are dealing with is in the £700,000 plus price range. 

‘The demand is 100 times higher than it was and there just isn’t the housing stock available for people to buy.’

Tension spilled over in neighbouring Cornwall earlier this year when second homes were vandalised.

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Graffiti on a wall outside one holiday home in St Agnes read: ‘Second home owners give something back: Rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price.’

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