Reader submitted content. The following article was written by Lisa Joyner and appeared in the March 2022 Country Living Magazine. Angry locals in Cornwall graffiti second homes that have priced them out of the area–In a dispute over affordable housing, locals wrote: “Rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price” As the reader who submitted this piece suggests, is this soon to be happening here on the Shore?
Second homeowners in St Agnes, Cornwall, have been targeted by angry locals with giant graffiti slogans claiming they are contributing to the ongoing affordable housing crisis in the area.
Vandalism on the wall of an empty holiday home reads: “Second home owners give something back: rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price.” On another building in St Agnes, a graffiti statement says: “No more investment properties”.
With over 300 miles of spectacular coastline dotted with pretty fishing villages and harbours, Cornwall is one of the UK’s top destinations for a seaside staycation. But, this continued popularity has sadly resulted in far fewer affordable homes for locals to rent or buy — and has seen the younger generation being priced out of their own home towns.
According to the London Economic, Cornwall currently has more than 10,290 active Airbnb listings, but only 69 rental properties available for people to rent short term or long term on Rightmove. House prices are also well out of reach for locals, with properties in Redruth – the nearest large town to St Agnes – rising by 20% on the previous year and 25% on the 2019 peak.
One local resident told The Metro: “People have the wrong priorities in life. Every time we walk past this house and others all I think about is how sad it is that it sits there empty most of the year when so many people want to live here permanently and can’t find anything to buy or rent.”
The graffiti has divided people, with another local saying vandalism isn’t the answer: “I know we’re all unhappy with second homes taking over the houses in the village but this is vandalism. The person responsible could get a criminal record for doing this – there are better ways to show your frustration.”
This isn’t the first time graffiti has appeared in a Cornish village. Last year, a sign telling tourists to “go home” was spotted outside the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno.