Cornwall’s Housing Market Faces Pressure as Landlords Shift to Short-Term Lets

Sophie Lang, Propertymark’s Executive for Cornwall, has voiced ongoing concerns about the growing trend of properties being converted from long-term rentals to short-term lets in the region, a shift that is exacerbating the housing crisis for local residents.

Rising Trend in Short-Term Lettings
Amid the increased popularity of staycations following the pandemic, many landlords in Cornwall and other UK tourist hotspots are opting to move their investments from the private rented sector to the short-term lettings market. This trend is driven by the potential for higher rental yields and fewer operational restrictions compared to long-term rentals. Sophie Lang noted, “Since starting my career as a letting agent in Cornwall, I have seen an increase in landlords moving their properties from the private rental market to short-term. This is leaving locals who live and work in the area with fewer long-term options when it comes to both renting and buying.”

Challenges Faced by Landlords
The transition is also influenced by increasing financial pressures on landlords, including rising taxes and interest rates which make mortgages more expensive and diminish profits. Propertymark highlights these issues as significant factors driving landlords away from long-term rentals, with Lang stating, “This shift is inevitable given the move to staycations on the back of the pandemic, however, this has only been exacerbated by the UK Government’s lack of incentives and increased taxes for landlords in the private rental market.”

Calls for Government Action
Propertymark is urging the UK Government to introduce more incentives for landlords to invest in the private rented sector and remove barriers that currently make it unattractive. The aim is to encourage more stable, long-term housing options for residents in communities like Cornwall. Lang emphasised the importance of government intervention, “These calls to the UK Government have been persistent since the pandemic, and it’s now time that it stepped up and incentivised long-term accommodation routes to help local residents move freely within their communities.”

The situation underscores a critical need for policy adjustments to balance the interests of landlords with the housing needs of local populations, particularly in areas heavily impacted by tourism and short-term rental markets.