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New figures show South Hams house prices soaring

Salcombe (Credit South Hams District Council)

The district includes hotspots like Dartmouth and Salcombe

House prices in the South Hams are sky-rocketing while those in other parts of Devon are falling, according to new figures.

The latest monthly bulletin from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the property market in South Devon’s most sought-after locations is booming. The district includes property hotspots such as Salcombe and Dartmouth, where local councillors say they fear soaring property prices are driving local families away.

It is claimed that many people are finding it impossible to buy properties in their own communities and are being forced to move out of the area to find homes they can afford.

South Hams Council is one of a number of local authorities planning to double council tax for owners of second homes as well as charging extra for people buying properties and then leaving them empty for most of the year.

Cllr Denise O’Callaghan (Lib Dem, Kingsbridge) told a recent council meeting: “Some people have an awful lot of money and have more than one house, and that is pushing up prices in places like Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe.

“There are more second homes than there are first homes in places like Salcombe and East Portlemouth.”

The figures from the ONS show that the average house price in the South Hams was £432,000 in January, compared to a south west average of £317,000 and a national average of £285,000. The South Hams figure has risen by 11 per cent year-on-year.

In neighbouring Torbay the average house price is £268,000, and that figure has been falling.

In the year to January 2024, the average price for semi-detached properties in the South Hams rose by 13.6 per cent, while the average price for flats increased by 9.6 per cent.

First-time buyers in the South Hams paid £345,000 on average for their properties in January this year - up from £310,000 a year ago.

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