Penny Churchill looks at Sconner House in Cornwall, where local agents have reported a booming market.
Down in Cornwall, Ian Lillicrap of Cornish agents Lillicrap Chilcott is celebrating his best trading year in more than two decades and berates the doom-mongers who had prophesied the collapse of the UK residential property market. ‘Of all our sales in 2020, we sold 40 homes priced between £1m and £5m,’ he says, ‘including one superlative water’s-edge icon, which sold, sight unseen, for between £4m and £5m after the first national lockdown.’
Mr Lillicrap is bullish about things continuing in a similar vein: ‘As we power into 2021, we expect strong demand for Cornwall’s finest houses in the £3m to £5m price bracket, due to a shortage of supply and the high level of demand from UK and overseas buyers.’ And currently on his books, at a guide price of £1.65m, is the impressive, Grade II-listed Sconner House at Polbathic, near Torpoint, which dates from about 1820 with later alterations.
Originally built as a dower house for Harriet, Lady St Germans, the house was a private home until the late 1990s, when it became a hotel.
Having acquired it as such, the present owners converted it back to a private residence, which they renovated and refurbished with much loving care over the years.
Approached down a long private drive amid some 14 acres of garden and woodland, Sconner House offers 9,150sq ft of well-proportioned living space.
There is a grand entrance hall, four main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, conservatory, seven bedrooms (five en suite) and two family bathrooms.
It comes with a two-storey coach house in need of repair — to put it mildly — but with potential for conversion to residential use.