Devon breaks into property league top 10
Devon has moved into the top 10 of the country's richest counties with a net property worth of £121.3 billion, according to a survey.
The county is named as seventh wealthiest, with Dorset making it into second place behind Surrey, according to the report by property website PrimeLocation.com.
Will Morrison, a partner at Knight Frank's regional office in Exeter, said he was not surprised that Devon was one of the most desirable places to live. He said: "There is always excellent demand and the Westcountry is on the radar when people come to look for homes. I am not surprised Devon is now in the top 10 because of the type of properties we have and the location means people want to come down here.
"The market is tricky at the moment but there is still good demand for the right properties in the right areas."
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He said that 70-80% of their buyers came from London or the South East, helping the property market in the Westcountry to remain buoyant.
"They come for a variety of reasons, to buy a holiday home or for a change of lifestyle. Devon has some lovely waterfront properties or some of the best countryside to choose from," he added.
But he agreed the downside of high property prices was the difficulty faced by first-time buyers wanting to get on the housing ladder.
The news comes after RBS named the South West as "the most unaffordable region" outside London for first-time buyers.
This survey too bears out that evidence, with the South West's total regional property wealth coming in £488.3 billion, behind the South East and London.
Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.com, said: "Property wealth per head is driven by one key factor – demand.
"Homes in and around the capital will always be sought-after because of the increased population density in the South and its better employment opportunities."
Dorset's property is worth almost £84 billion – that is £207,220 per head, said PrimeLocation.com. But Cornwall came well down the list at 19th with the total value of property being put at £58.6 billion, followed by Somerset in 22nd place on £56.7 billion.
On a regional level, the South East holds the greatest property wealth, accounting for nearly a third (30%) of the UK's total property fortune. London comes in second in the regional listing with just over £1 trillion.
Last month it was revealed that house prices in seaside towns have doubled over the last decade with eight of the top ten most expensive coastal places to live being here in the Westcountry.
Salcombe, in the South Hams, tops the list of the priciest coastal places to live with typical homes there costing a cool £529,000 on average.