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June 16, 2022 | 4 min read

10 reasons why your property portfolio should include the South West

With over 40 completed developments in the region and three regional offices, here are ten reasons why we at Acorn believe the market for property in the South West offers exceptional growth potential.

Padraigh Kinnaird, Acorn Property Invest
By Padraigh Kinnaird
The Wheal Coates in St. Agnes, Acorn Property Invest
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Comprising the counties of Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, the South West is the largest region in the UK.

With over 40 completed developments in the region and three regional offices, here are ten reasons why we at Acorn believe the market for property in the South West offers exceptional growth potential:


  1. Highly stable and diversified demand

The South West is the UK’s number one choice for second homes, with families, downsizers and retirees combining with local buyers and buy-to-let student landlords, to form a diverse and stable property-buyer demographic.


  1. Strong population growth

The South West is forecast to have the second-highest population growth of any English region in the ten years to 2028, rising by approximately 7%. Between 2003 and 2008 the population of the South West grew faster than that of the UK as a whole, with nearly all of the growth attributable to inward migration. We believe the pandemic has likely accelerated this trend.


  1. Fastest ever property price growth

In 2021, Cornwall became Rightmove’s most searched-for destination, with Devon and Bristol close behind. Savills is forecasting house price growth of 13.1% in the South West over the next five years, with coastal areas seeing the strongest increase.


  1. Significant undersupply

The South West has one of the most acute housing shortages of any region in the UK. While the UK is facing a chronic shortage of housing generally, this is most pronounced in areas of strong demand, where insufficient supply is compounded by a lack of high-quality housing.


  1. Most sought-after region for second homes

There are more second-home owners with a property in the South West than in any other English region (27% in 2019). Since the pandemic, owning a backup UK holiday home for rental as an Airbnb when not in use, has become an even more popular option. And with large student populations in Bristol, Bath and Exeter, investing in buy-to-let is a highly attractive proposition.


  1. Most sought-after region to retire to

The South West has the oldest population of any region in the UK, with around 1.2 million people, or 22% of the population of state pension age. Between 2003 and 2008 the number of people in this age group in the South West grew at more than twice the rate of overall population growth and with an ageing population, we anticipate demand continuing to rise.


  1. One of the UK’s fastest-growing economies

In 2021 the economic growth rate of cities in the South West was 8.2%, well above the UK average of 7.4%. The South West is one of only two English regions expected to compete with London economically over the next three years, with Bristol and Exeter two of the fastest-growing cities in the UK.


  1. Rapidly improving connectivity and transport links

With ongoing investment in Cornish railways and a new dual carriageway that is set to slash journey times from Exeter to Penzance, plus three international airports and fast trains to London, the South West is becoming an increasingly attractive destination.


  1. Popularity with WFH relocators

Young professionals are increasingly choosing to base where they live on lifestyle considerations rather than proximity to a place of work. The South West offers the perfect work/life balance, with a wealth of good schools, fifteen Areas of Outstanding National Beauty and many of the UK’s best surf and sandy beaches.


  1. Underpopulated and ripe for development

The South West has the lowest population density of any English region. While this is one of its key attractions, it also makes the South West ripe for development.


Please visit our website for more information on Acorn’s live investment opportunities across the South West: Oliver Buildings, Barnstaple (Devon) and St Leonards Quarter, Exeter (Devon)



Investment opportunities available via Acorn Property Invest are exclusively targeted at exempt investors who are experienced, knowledgeable and sophisticated enough to sufficiently understand the risks involved, and who are able to make their own decisions about suitability of those investment opportunities. All investors should seek an independent professional investment and tax advice before deciding to invest. Any historic performance of investment opportunities is NOT a guide or guarantee for future performance and any projections of future performance are not guaranteed. All investment opportunities available via Acorn Property Invest are NOT regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and you will NOT have access to Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and may not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).