Amanda has worked in estate agency in the Southeast of England for a number of years in both residential and commercial property sales.
Buying Property in Cornwall
Cornwall is a wonderful county known for its spectacular countryside, fabulous beaches and picturesque towns and villages. Holidaymakers have been flocking here for many years, and little by little, tourism has become an integral part of the local economy.
Whether you're a busy family looking for a bolthole in Cornwall to use as a second home, a Cornish native trying to get a foothold on the housing ladder or simply someone hoping to relocate to the West of England, you might find the information in this article helpful.
It's genuinely amazing that property prices can vary so dramatically from one town to another across a county. The cheapest places in Cornwall tend to be further from the coast, but that said, you may be surprised by the number of cheaper towns by the seaside. When house hunting, please do your own thorough research, especially as some highly sought-after areas have caveats in place preventing non-Cornish natives from buying second homes or holiday homes.
Price Ranges for 3-Bedroom Houses in Cornwall by Town
Where Is Cornwall?
Towns and Villages in Cornwall
In this section, we'll explore Cornwall town-by-town alphabetically. Important features of each town will be discussed, and more specific price ranges for three-bedroom homes will be provided.
Bodmin lies in the centre of Cornwall southwest of Bodmin Moor. A substantial town for such a rural county, Bodmin provides educational, health and shopping facilities for a large surrounding area, and it's also on the Cornish main-line rail route. Popularly associated in local legend with the so-called 'Beast of Bodmin', the nearby moors are supposedly roamed by a phantom big cat.
You can still find an occasional property for around £170,000 in Bodmin, but realistically, buyers looking for a 3-bedroom family home in this attractive corner of Cornwall will probably need to have a little more in their budget to be sure of securing a property in this attractive location.
In 2004, the television channel BBC 2 began broadcasting A Seaside Parish, a weekly series focusing on the life of the newly appointed Rector of Boscastle, Christine Musser. This raised interest in the village amongst visitors to Cornwall, but the serious flood that hit Boscastle in August of the same year brought it even greater media attention. Sixteen years later, the village had recovered from the considerable damage caused by the flooding, and now it's business as usual for this popular tourist spot. Three-bedroom homes in and around Boscastle are likely to cost upwards of £275,000.
Callington is situated in the east of the county between Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor. Formerly an agricultural market town, Callington now relies on food manufacturers Ginsters and Tamar Foods for many of its local employment opportunities. The town is not as touristy as its coastal neighbours, so it is very much a place where Cornish folk can feel at home. There is a strong sporting tradition within the town, and residents are keen to support the local football and cricket teams.
The schools take pupils through to sixth form. For older students and those who travel for work, the nearest railway station to Callington is seven miles away at Saltash. Three-bedroom houses start at around £185,000, although a budget of £195,000-plus will give you a little more choice.
Camborne is located in what was once one of the richest tin-mining areas in the world. Over time, however, the pits ceased to be profitable one-by-one, and the last remaining pit, just a short distance from Camborne, closed its gates in 1998. Camborne and the adjoining town of Redruth were once at the heart of the Cornish tin-mining industry, but these days, employment is harder to find, and government funding has been ploughed into local regeneration projects.
A three-bedroom house with a lot of character in Camborne could be yours for as little as £150,000, with DIY project homes and tenanted buy-to-lets coming in at a slightly less.
Taken together with Carrick Roads, Falmouth Harbour is the third deepest natural harbour in the world and the deepest in Western Europe. That being the case, it's no surprise that the town is popular with yachtsmen and fishermen alike and has its own port where larger vessels, including cruise ships, are frequently catered to. The town itself is very historic and is the site of Pendennis Castle, which was originally built by Henry Vlll. Falmouth has good transport links, including rail, and has educational facilities through to university level. Three-bedroom homes in Falmouth may be bought from around £200,000 upwards.
The famous author Daphne du Maurier made her home in Fowey, and her novels paint a vivid picture of Cornish life in bygone days, with tales of smugglers, pirates and privateers, as well as more contemporary stories which frequently have an underlying sense of the supernatural. Perhaps she was inspired by the unique character of Cornwall and its air of mystery and tales untold.
House prices in pretty little Fowey are as steep as the hilly roads leading down to the harbour. Unless you are lucky enough to chase down a small, modern terrace house (priced around £250,000), expect to pay at least £330,000 for a typical three-bedroom property here. As of this article's last update, there were just a handful of three-bedroom homes listed around this price. The price jump to the next listed property was substantial. As always with property matters, you need to do your own research and be very vigilant if you hope to nab a bargain in this popular area.
Hayle is a small town and cargo port in west Cornwall at the mouth of the Hayle River a few miles northeast of Penzance. Hayle has an enviable three miles of golden sandy beaches and is a popular holiday destination. The Gwithian beach near Godrevy is a favoured location for surfing, windsurfing and bodyboarding. The town also has good transport links, including a railway station.
There are a number of holiday-style chalets and bungalows for sale in the Hayle area. These are priced from as little as £65,000, but many have occupancy restrictions that limit residency to short periods. For a proper, solidly constructed three-bedroom home in the town, you will ideally need to have a budget of at least £180,000.
Helston is the most southerly town in mainland Britain. With a history dating back well over 800 years, the town includes many old and quirky properties, some of which are available at surprisingly reasonable prices. Helston has local schools providing education up to the secondary level. Transport links are by road, but there is also a bus service connecting with the railway station at Redruth. A standard three-bedroom place in good order can be bought in this lovely location for approximately £165,000, but for something really unique, you may have to pay quite a lot more.
Launceston is a hillside market town near the Cornwall-Devon border and is at the centre of an employment hotspot thanks to a cluster of nearby industrial estates. The town itself is dominated by the ruins of Lauceston Castle and was once the location of the Cornish Mint. Launceston has local schools through to the secondary level, as well as many of the shopping and leisure facilities you would expect from a town this size. Three-bedroom family-sized houses can occasionally be bought from as little as £160,000, but a more realistic starting budget would be around £180,000.
Liskeard still holds a weekly livestock market every Tuesday. The town centre has a good range of shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs, many of which retain an old-fashioned charm. With good local schools and rail links, Liskeard is an attractive small town close to many of Cornwall's popular tourist destinations.
Liskeard is one of the least expensive Cornish towns, and occasionally, properties come onto the market in the £150,,000 to £165,000 price range. A sensible budget for a three-bedroom house would be around £170,000, but you may get lucky and find one of the cheaper ones if you're quick, especially as there are currently good reductions available on older listings.
Looe's main business today is tourism, with much of the town given over to hotels, guest houses and holiday homes. The shops mainly sell beach equipment, ice cream, Cornish pasties and seaside-themed items. Despite all this, traditional fishermen still ply their trade from Looe harbour, and several fish dealers operate from the docks of East Looe.
Aside from the harbour and docks, there is an excellent sandy beach at East Looe, and the surrounding area is popular with campers and caravanners. Family homes a little out of the main town can still be bought for a little under £200,000. Quirky, individual quayside houses are likely to cost quite a lot more.
St Michael's Mount is a half-mile offshore from Marazion, and at low water, a causeway links it to the town. Perhaps St Michael's Mount is the main attraction for the many talented artists who produce and sell paintings and pottery in the town's numerous art galleries, or perhaps they are drawn to the quaint beauty of the ancient town itself. Whatever the reason, Marazion is a great place to visit and is a popular destination for travelers in the county.
Low-end properties are hard to come by in Marazion, and few family-sized houses come on the market here. Those that do tend to be a little more expensive than you'd expect in Cornwall. Budget for at least £260,000, but realistically, you might need considerably more.
This picturesque seaside village near St Austell, with its steep, narrow streets and lanes, is mostly geared toward meeting the needs of the tourist trade, but there are more modern housing estates on the outskirts that cater to local people, so any bargains are likely to be found outside of the town centre.
The village lies in a small valley facing east onto Mevagissey Bay, and like many of the towns and villages on this coastline, it has an old harbour which still shelters working fishing vessels. Small, cheap-end properties do trickle into the market in this pretty coastal location, priced from around £300,000, but these are rare gems in a sea of extravagantly expensive houses.
Newquay is widely regarded as the surf capital of Britain, and there are many surf stores, board manufacturers and board hire shops in the town. With one of the best beach breaks in Cornwall, Fistral Beach is at the heart of Newquay's elite status amongst UK surfers. Newquay has long been noted as a major tourist destination, primarily on account of its nine long and accessible sandy beaches (including Fistral). The town has grown up around the tourist trade, ensuring that there is plenty of entertainment on offer.
£230,000 should be sufficient to buy a basic three-bedroom house in Newquay, but the low-end properties are often hard to come by.
Traditionally a fishing port, Padstow is now a popular tourist destination. The dramatic coastline and safe harbour close to the mouth of the River Camel ensure the town's popularity with the fishing and yachting fraternity. Local restaurateur Rick Stein has also promoted the town through his TV cookery programmes, and tourists travel from far and wide to eat at his restaurant and cafés. Unfortunately, the Rick Stein effect has caused house-price inflation in Padstow, and local people find it very hard to get a foot on the housing ladder when competing with wealthy newcomers looking for second homes there.
Considering its high profile within the county, Padstow remains surprisingly affordable. £300,000 will still secure a reasonably spacious three-bedroom home in the town. Amazingly, tiny terraced 3-bedroom houses occasionally come up for sale at around £250,000, but to be on the safe side, you should expect to pay £350,000 or more, as the lower end homes are few and far between, and quickly snatched up.
Penzance is well known for being the most westerly major town in Cornwall, lying approximately 75 miles (121 km) west of Plymouth and 300 miles (480 km) west-southwest of London. The town faces the English Channel and has a sheltered harbour which makes it popular with fishermen and leisure sailors alike. Immortalized in song by composers Gilbert and Sullivan in their operetta Pirates of Penzance, the town has long been a popular tourist destination. The mainline rail route through Cornwall terminates here, ensuring ease of access for those who prefer not to drive through Cornwall's congested summertime traffic.
The most basic three-bedroom family property in Penzance typically costs between £190,000 and £220,000, although you may grab a bargain at a lower price if you are prepared to roll up your sleeves for some serious DIY.
Perranporth is a popular British holiday destination with a wide sandy beach that extends northeast of the town for nearly two miles. The town faces west onto Perran Bay and the Atlantic and is favoured by surfers who enjoy big waves. Perranporth Airfield, located on Cligga Head on the cliffs east of the town, was built during World War II as an RAF fighter station, but it is now a civil airfield.
Three-bedroom homes in Perranporth start at around £350,000, with a very occasional bargain or DIY project sneaking in for somewhat less. That said, on the day this article was updated the cheapest property available was priced at a little over half a million pounds. Smaller, less expensive properties do exist here, but they aren't always available to buy.
Polperro is a popular village and fishing harbour on the southeast Cornwall coast. It is situated on the River Pol, four miles (six km) west of the neighbouring town of Looe. Visitors throng the narrow streets and alleys in summer, enjoying the idyllic location and the quaint charm of the tightly-packed fishermen's houses and seaside-themed shops and galleries sprawling down toward the picturesque harbour. Needless to say, Polperro is an appealing location and is not a cheap place to relocate to. Expect to pay upwards of £220,000 for even the most basic three-bedroom property.
This is indeed a favoured corner of Cornwall. Beautiful Polzeath, with its sheltered, sandy surfer's beach, is high on the desirability list for the rich and fabulous. So much so, in fact, that on the day this article was last updated, there was only one three-bedroom plus-sized property available, priced at £825,000.
Picturesque Port Isaac has served as the backdrop to various television productions, most notably the ITV series Doc Martin, in which it was renamed Portwenn. The group Fisherman's Friends, who specialise in singing sea-shanties, also hail from this pretty little fishing village. Three-bedroom houses in and around Port Isaac start at about £380,000, but the cheaper properties are few and far between, so expect to pay considerably more.
Redruth, together with the adjoining town of Camborne, forms the largest urban area in Cornwall, and consequently, shopping, education, sports, leisure and transport links are all better here than elsewhere within the county. Redruth lies inland from the coast, but in this narrow part of Cornwall, you are never too far away from the sea. A typical price for a basic three-bedroom house in Redruth is between £195,000 to £220,000. On a good day, you might find something for a little less.
Rock (Including Splatt, Pityme, St Minver and Tredrizzick)
Situated on the Camel Estuary, just across from Padstow, Rock has become a popular centre for water sports such as waterskiing, windsurfing and sailing. The village is sometimes referred to as Britain's Saint-Tropez, and its popularity with affluent holidaymakers has led to it having the highest proportion of second homes in Cornwall.
The annual influx of summer visitors has ensured a measure of prosperity for the local folk involved in servicing their needs. Consequently, the retail outlets and restaurants in Rock appear to do rather better than those in other Cornish towns, and property prices are dizzyingly expensive compared to other West Country locations. Expect to pay a bare minimum of £375,000 for a three-bedroom bolthole in Rock or any of the adjacent settlements of Splatt, Pityme, St Minver or Tredrizzick (if you are fortunate enough to actually find one available for sale!).
It's not the prettiest of the Cornish towns, but St Austell is situated on the doorstep of some of the West Country's top attractions, such as the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Since St Austell is one of the largest towns in Cornwall, it benefits from good transport links, including rail, and has its own hospital serving a large surrounding area. Properties in the town begin at a very reasonable £170,000.
Fishing has beemn an important industry to the good people of St Ives since Medieval times. It was, for long centuries, the most important fishing port on the north coast of the county. These days, beautiful St Ives, home to Tate St Ives, is a magnet for artists, and many galleries line the narrow streets offering visitors pieces of art that feature local scenes. Price-wise, three-bedroom homes begin at approximately £275,000 in this lovely coastal town, but they escalate upward very rapidly due to the lack of available basic homes.
St Just lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is an attractive town in its own right. This ancient settlement has strong associations with the Cornish mining industry, and important copper and tin mines were sited nearby. Nowadays, with the closure of the mines, St Just and the coastline it stands on have to rely on tourism and agriculture for many of the local employment opportunities. Small, terraced, three-bedroom houses in St Just can be bought from a little under £245,000 at present, but these are not always available, so you may need to stretch your budget a little further.
Saltash is the largest town by population in East Cornwall and is one of the biggest in the county. This means that the educational, health, leisure and shopping facilities are better than those in many Cornish locations. The town has the added benefit of being on a train route. However, it is not as picturesque and touristy as other Cornish locations.
There are still quite a few three-bedroom properties under £185,000 coming onto the market in Saltash, and there seem to be price reductions available on some older listings.
Tintagel (Including Trevena and Bossiney)
Tintagel has connections to the Arthurian legends, and its castle is one of Britain's most visited ancient buildings. Tintagel and its two adjacent settlements, Trevena and Bossiney, have three-bedroom houses available from around £290,000 or sometimes a little less.
Truro is the only city in the county and the most southern city in mainland UK. Truro is well known for its gothic revival cathedral, which was completed in 1910. The city's cobbled streets and Georgian architecture add to its overall charm, but good transport links and excellent retail, leisure, education and health facilities render it just as convenient as other modern cities. Three-bedroom homes start at around £150,000 in Truro.
Wadebridge straddles the River Camel five miles (eight km) inland from Padstow. The town has quite a range of property on offer, but the most basic three-bedroom homes start at around £300,000, with the occasional tiny, terraced property slipping in a little below that. There aren't many being listed at this kind of price, however, so you need to be vigilant to chase down a good deal in Wadebridge.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Where would I find homes in Holsworthy listed?
Answer: Holsworthy is in Devon, the county adjacent to Cornwall.
Andrew Jarvis on September 16, 2016:
Should have called it the 'Furry Dance' as now I can't get Terry Wogan out of my head,ugggh..!
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on September 16, 2016:
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories Blossom!
Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on September 11, 2016:
Thanks for the tour around one of my favourite parts of Britain. One of my Grandpas came from St. Austell and I've stayed several times with cousins in some of those places, including Helston at the time of the Flora Dance. It was at one of those that she met the man who became her husband!
Andrew Jarvis on July 28, 2016:
It would have been nice, though, wouldn't it!
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on July 28, 2016:
Thank you for the heads up Andrew Jarvis. I have made the appropriate amendment to the Hayle entry.
Andrew Jarvis on July 26, 2016:
The Hayle holiday chalets for 75k are not for residency from what I've seen.You can only stay in them for up to 28 days per year. The rest of the time they have to be rented out to tourists.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on May 31, 2015:
Hi Oliversmum, you've picked out two beautiful locations, but I have to say that Cornwall is pretty magical all over. Check out the new Poldark series if it comes over to you in Australia, and you'll get a flavour of the rugged charm of England's West Country. Price wise Cornwall is nowhere near as cheap as it was ten or twenty years ago, but second-home owners have pushed the prices up beyond the pockets of many locals in recent years. Thanks for stopping by and commenting,
oliversmum from australia on May 30, 2015:
Amanda Severn Hi. All these locations sound nice, but my interest was taken with Newquay and Falmouth they both sounded very interesting. Even after converting pounds to Australian dollars for what you get the price,s are pretty reasonable. Thanks for sharing part of your beautiful country with us. Thumbs up. and very interesting. :) :)
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on August 30, 2014:
Hi Imogen, all the property prices I've given on here are based on prices shown on Rightmove. They've all been researched within the last fortnight, so are fairly current, and they are all based on the very cheapest, most basic, three bedroom houses available in any given area. I've excluded auction guide prices, and properties that are very much cheaper than others because of the requirement for major renovation etc. From the perspective of someone living in a property hotspot in the South-East, many of the towns in Cornwall seem very reasonable indeed. but they certainly don't reflect average wages etc, primarily because so many people have bought second homes and holiday homes in the county, and the locals have gradually been priced out. I haven't come across the 'restrictions' policy in my research, but thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will add a caveat in the header paragraph.
Imogen French from Southwest England on August 30, 2014:
I am surprised that some of these places are so cheap. I visit Falmouth a lot as my son is at university there, and got the impressions that houses were really expensive. But perhaps I was only looking at the expensive ones, and dreaming! A lot of areas in Cornwall have restrictions on "outsiders" buying properties, as there are an awful lot of second homes and houses converted into holiday accommodation, which price the locals out of the market. If you are thinking of moving into the area it is worth checking with local councils. I think Haemoor, near Penzance, for example, has a strict policy of giving priority to locals, and doesn't allow holiday accommodation.
Amanda Severn (author) from UK on August 28, 2014:
Hi Bob, yes, life is good right now, and I hope you're well and happy too. Cornwall isn't the cheapest county any more, but it's not the most expensive either. Compared to Sussex, Cornwall has some real bargains!
diogenes from UK and Mexico on August 27, 2014:
Wow! One of my favourite ghostly voices from the past! Nice to see a hub of yours again, Amanda and hope life has treated you well of late.
I could afford a tent in Cornwall!