Holiday homes in a picturesque Cornish seaside village have been daubed with graffiti protesting at the lack of affordable homes in the area.
At least one property the village of St Agnes believed to be a holiday home has been vandalised with a clear message to the owner.
The graffiti spells out: “Second home owners give something back: Rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price.”
A neighbouring wall has also reads: “No more investment properties.”
Tensions have grown amongst locals in recent years throughout Cornwall, with sought-after coastal spots being bought as second homes by people who live elsewhere.
As the number of affordable homes to rent or buy becomes fewer in Cornwall, the issue of second homes has become more prominent.
The latest graffiti has divided public opinion, with some locals supportive and others believing it’s a criminal act which won’t have an effect.
“Bred from desperation”
A commenter in favour of the move on a local news website said: “It’s a reasonable, and polite, request to be fair”, “vandalism is bred from desperation” and “if that was my home, I’d never leave it.”
Another added: “Every time we walk past this house and others all I think about is how sad it is that it sits there empty most of the year.
“Although vandalism won’t solve it, it is a talking point.”
Others disagreed with one commenting: “I agree with the sentiment but this is vandalism and completely unnecessary.”
Similar comments read: “I know we’re all unhappy with second homes taking over the houses in the village but this is vandalism.”
“The person responsible could get a criminal record for doing this – there are better ways to show your frustration.”
Overall, sold prices in Redruth – the nearest large town to St Agnes – over the last year were 20% up on the previous year and 25% up on the 2019 peak of £176,315.
Cornwall currently has more than 10,290 active Airbnb listings, but only 69 rental properties available for people to rent short term or long term on Rightmove.
Local resident’s believe higher property prices and increasing demand for Airbnbs in Cornwall are what’s responsible for the shortage of homes.
Related: UK rents squeeze disposable household income as cost of living rises