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Demand already falling in Wales’ seaside towns ahead of Welsh Government crackdown on second homes

15 Jun 2022 2 minutes Read
Porthcawl. Picture by Roger Davies (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Demand is already falling in many of Wales’ seaside towns ahead of a crackdown on second homes by the Welsh Government, estate agents have said.

Seaside towns such as Prestatyn, Porthcawl and Abergele have seen falls of between -37% and -32% in buyer competition in the year to May, which are among the largest falls in the UK nations.

The figures compiled by Rightmove measured competition by comparing inquiry levels with the number of available properties in an area. A fall in buyer competition generally presages falling or stagnant house prices.

“As more choice becomes available in these seaside areas, we’re seeing some of the competition between buyers and renters begin to cool off,” Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said.

The Welsh Government confirmed last month that they would carry on with plans for tax hikes on holiday lets that do not rent out their properties for more than half the year.

Following a consultation, from April local authorities will be able to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300% from April 2023.

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.

England’s Housing secretary Michael Gove has announced plans to let councils charge double council tax on second homes that are not used or let out for 70 days a year.

And yesterday, the English town of Whitby voted by 95% to stop people buying new properties as second homes there.

Seaside towns in England also saw a fall in demand, particularly in the south west where there have been tensions between residents and second home owners.

The largest fall in the UK nations was seen in Ilfracombe, Devon where buyer competition fell -64%.


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Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
21 days ago

This is a positive turn of events, of a kind that unfortunately is all to rare in contemporary Wales. The Welsh Government still have a lot to do to solve this crisis, however, while county councils could introduce a cap on the number of holiday homes and air-B&B’s in their county.

Gerallt
Gerallt
21 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Why does anyone want a second home in Wales or anywhere else escapes me. Holidays in hotels offer so much better value and variety.

Gerallt
Gerallt
21 days ago
Reply to  Gerallt

Having said that I cannot understand why anyone takes a holiday in the UK.

Gerallt
Gerallt
21 days ago
Reply to  Gerallt

Holidays in the UK are far too expensive

Steve George
Steve George
21 days ago

Excellent news! The policy is beginning to work even before it’s been fully implemented. It is bizarre that many people think of house price inflation in a positive way (ooh! look how much my house is worth!) when all other forms of inflation are (rightly) seen as negative. Lower house prices are better for everyone. Even boomers like me who bought their house years ago and have seen them appreciate (ludicrously) in value. The truth is, I can’t ‘spend’ my house in any meaningful way but if house prices fall, although mine might nominally be worth less, it would make… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve George

It is certainly beginning to work in my area.

A number of homes used for holiday-letting have been put on the market.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
21 days ago

What are volumes of sales like? I live in a popular mid-Wales market town that currently has 8 properties for sale rather than the 40-50 we used to have in Spring/Summer a few years ago.
All these Rightmove stats are interdependent so average asking price is wildly affected by volume and the odd multi-million mansion and “buyer competition” appears to be one of the most easily affected.

Richard
Richard
21 days ago

What a load of 🤮…. There are next to nil second homes in Prestatyn. It’s a retirement area for many from the north west of England to be certain but has a growing vibrant community of local young folk and thriving and growing Welsh medium school
and a strong Welsh identity. Urdd parades , capeli cymraeg and strong support for our national football ⚽️ and rugby 🏉 sides from young folk with north English parents.

The good mix in the house market is vibrant with it meeting local needs …

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  Richard

This is not the case for other areas in Wales though, particularly coastal and rural towns.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
21 days ago

So no similar drop in England. Only Wales. You’d think with this policy locals having a chance to live & raise families in those same areas would be celebrated by estate agents rather than lamented. Oh sorry, silly me. They don’t care do they. It’s all about making money than keeping Welsh communities vibrant and alive.

defaid
defaid
21 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

If this isn’t what you were referring to then please accept my apology. The last two paragraphs state,

“Seaside towns in England also saw a fall in demand… The largest fall in the UK nations was seen in Ilfracombe, Devon where buyer competition fell -64%.”

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
20 days ago
Reply to  defaid

Has Devon not indicated their intention to double council tax for second home owners though? I know there have been calls for it.

There are probably other factors at work as well though such as the cost of living crisis and people being lured back to the office after the pandemic.

Grant Wroe
Grant Wroe
20 days ago

When the local economies start to suffer they’ll soon change there tactics

Last edited 20 days ago by Grant Wroe
Peter jones
Peter jones
20 days ago

All the second home owners I know in Wales are locals who have inherited them and use them as holiday let’s. I do feel sorry for the those dependent on tourism as their market is being actively destroyed by the welsh government

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