SOUTH Devon towns today emerged at the top of a 'posh list' of the West Country's most desirable places to live, with the warning that property prices are soaring out of the reach of locals, and in some places fewer than half of home owners actually live in their communities.
Salcombe and Dartmouth are at the top of the list, while Prime Minister David Cameron’s favourite Cornish holiday destination is also high on the list of the region’s most desirable places to live.
More than 160,000 new property millionaires have been created over the last year in Britain as the housing market recovery has taken off, according to the Zoopla website.
It estimates that 484,081 have hit the landmark figure, a 49% or 160,397 increase on a year ago, as its survey highlighted a dozen streets with average prices of £10 million.
Salcombe led the regional table, with average house prices of £570,000 – up £40,000 from a year ago – followed by Dartmouth, where the average home now sells for just shy of £400,000.
In Cornwall, would-be buyers hoping to rub shoulder with the PM by snapping up a home in Padstow would now need to fork out £376,000 followed by Fowey, where the PL23 postcode returned an average of £373,000.
Richard Copus, regional spokesman for the National Association of Estate Agents, said there was no equivalent in the two counties to the “millionaire’s row” often found in parts of London but individual properties could still sell for staggering amounts.
“Most of the high-value homes are dotted around in isolated villages and towns,” he added.
“Salcombe and Thurlestone are through the roof and locals are pretty much priced out of the market – I think less than half of the home owners live there.
“The top end of the market has been pretty hard hit and is yet to fully recover.”
Zoopla once again named Kensington Palace Gardens, in London, as Britain’s most expensive street, with an average property value of £42.7 million.
In Devon, Salcombe and Dartmouth were followed in the county’s top ten high value towns by Budleigh Salterton, the home of acclaimed writer Hilary Mantel, then Kingsbridge and Sidmouth.
Colyton, home to the top rated state school at GCSE in the country, came in fifth, followed by Umberleigh, Woolacombe, Ottery St Mary and Totnes – all sitting in the £330,000 to £378,000 price bracket.
In Cornwall, the north coast home of Rick Stein, Padstow, led the way followed by Fowey, on the south coast.
Port Isaac, Wadebridge, St. Agnes, St Ives, Truro, Falmouth, Marazion and Lostwithiel completed the top ten towns, priced from £282,000 to £376,000.
Zoopla made its findings after using a formula to estimate the current market value of homes, using data from various sources, including the government, estate agents, surveyors and users of its website.
Spokesman Lawrence Hall said: “London boasts all of Britain’s 20 priciestaddresses. Prime properties in the capital have long been a magnet for the super-wealthy looking for a safe investment asset.
For the lucky few who can afford these stratospheric price tags, the fabulous mansions on streets like Kensington Palace Gardens and the Boltons are offering very strong returns.
“However you don’t need to be a billionaire to get a chance to own the creme de la creme of property on offer.”