A letting agent in Cornwall has told local TV how she finds herself in ”heartbreaking” situations because of the lack of affordable housing in the far south west of England.
Deborah Plowright, an agent at CAM Residential Lettings in Hayle, has told local media that as soon as she lists an available property, it prompts a flood of calls.
"We are literally swamped with enquiries, I actually dread advertising a property because it is a tidal wave when we put one out. And it’s heartbreaking - everyone gives you a story about why they need to rent a place, but there isn’t anything.”
She adds: "People are getting really upset. Sometimes I come off the phone and am close to tears myself."
Plowright says many of those renting - and she gets around 100 enquiries each working day - are prospective second home buyers. The result, she admits, is that local prospective owner occupiers have to remain renting or leave for less expensive areas.
"All those people who are starting out in life and haven’t got enough of a deposit, we watch them start to do well with their jobs and careers - but they’re locked in, where they would normally leave the rental market. There needs to be good housing for locals which is capped. So they can stay in their local communities where they grew up."
Plowright emphasises that she is not critical of second home buyers - "Most of us would do the same if we had the money. It’s not their fault and in a lot of ways these cash rich buyers help keep a lot of smaller local businesses afloat” she adds.
"But we desperately need more affordable housing stock for locals. Probably with caveats for resale to ensure the properties stay in local hands and stay affordable.”