Did anyone else watch that Million Pound Properties TV programme on Channel 4 this month?
To say it was insane would be an understatement. It’s just ridiculous to think that in the UK, £1 million will either buy you a 1 bedroom ex-council flat in London, or a 15 bedroom stately home/castle by a loch in Scotland!
Obviously Channel 4 chose the two furthest extremes they could in order to point out the issue, but you get the idea. London property prices are crazy! However, I have it on good authority that this is also the case in many large cities in America too; it’s not just us.
It might be the fact that I have grown up living in the Cornish countryside within 10 minutes of the stunning coastline that makes me biased, but I can’t help but wonder why you would choose to have less house/flat for your money, just to live in a super-busy, polluted, noisy and expensive city?
I know the basic reasons: salaries are higher, opportunities are more bountiful, shops, cafes, galleries, museums and nightclubs are on your doorstep. I guess that makes sense.
But what about this: much better value property, stunning and peaceful countryside, beaches to lounge on or do watersports, a sense of community and a more relaxed atmosphere. Am I selling it to you yet?
I know which one I’d rather choose.
Through my own research on Rightmove, I have put together some examples of property that is currently for sale in both Cornwall and Central areas or London so you can compare for yourself:
Highlights: 48 square metre first floor flat with secure entry, lift access and a further private store room on the lower ground floor. Walking distance to Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Soho & Mayfair.
Highlights: 337 square metre farm with 4 bedrooms (3 en suite), stable block, garage, courtyard, lawned gardens and 7.5 acres of land.
Also, here’s the most you’ll pay for a 1 bedroom flat of similar spec in Cornwall’s main city, Truro:
Highlights: Second floor, 1 bedroom flat with views towards the Cathedral.
(I realise it is hard to compare when this flat is not within walking distance to England’s most famous shopping districts and landmarks! Truro is one of the smallest cities you’ll find yourself in, with a lazy atmosphere, but a good mix of independent and retail chain shops and restaurants.)
Let’s talk sensible prices now. If we try and find a middle ground for the average cost of a home in London and in the rest of England, we’d probably be looking at around £280,000. So what can you get for that kind of money in London vs in Cornwall?
Highlights: 27 square metre studio flat with private parking, porter and lift. Within walking distance to the River Thames, this is as central as you can get for this money in London.
Highlights: 103 square metre, 4 bedroom, two bathroom house with large garden and parking for two cars. Sea and countryside views; 5 minute drive from stunning Gwithian and Godrevy beaches.
Which lifestyle would you choose and why?