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‘I’m thinking of selling up’: Second home owner complains about tax hike

17 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
Tywyn beach. © Copyright Mat Fascione (CC 2.0)

A second home owner has complained about a tax hike, saying she’s “thinking of selling up and buying abroad instead”.

Jane Robinson, who is from the West Midlands, and owns a property in Tywyn has criticised Gwynedd Council’s decision to increase the rates on second homes.

The council increased the levy on second homes and empty properties from 50% to a 100% in an effort to tackle a housing crisis in which locals are struggling to get on the property ladder.

Figures from the Welsh Revenue Authority have shown that 44% homes sold in Dwyfor Meirionnydd in the past year were to buyers not planning to use it as their main residence.

Robinson told the Cambrian News: “I’ve managed to go down during the summer holidays. I personally don’t think it’s going to be good for Tywyn in the long term as more second homeowners are forced to sell up because of the hike.

“Also with the Covid-19 impact already showing on the town with many small businesses and B&Bs been put out of business it’s not looking bright.”

She added: “Personally I’m re-evaluating my finances and thinking of selling up and buying abroad instead. I don’t feel the same about Tywyn like I used too, it was like I was going home now it’s just not the same. It’s very sad.”

Gwynedd councillor for Tywyn Mike Stevens said: “I would totally disagree with the lady’s comment of ‘many small businesses and B&Bs been put out of business,’ that is certainly not the case in Tywyn.

“In the past year we have had two new business open in the high street Tywyn Foods which sells fruit and vegetables, deli products and most importantly loose grains, nuts, cereals etc for people to fill their own containers.

“We’ve also had a brand new fish and chip shop YMOR open in a shop that had been empty for 10 years so it’s taken a big investment to convert it. Both businesses have been started and run by local born and bred Tywyn lads.

“Second homes have been a massive problem in Gwynedd for years and it has really hit Tywyn this year.

‘Not to be confused’ 

He added: “Not to be confused with holiday home letting businesses some of which have visitors almost all year round, many contributing a lot to the economy.

“Too many second homes are only occupied for a few weeks or, to look at it another way, too many second homes are empty for 9-10 months of the year contributing nothing to the local economy and depriving local people of somewhere to live.

“Tywyn is still a beautiful place but we need to prioritise for local people to be able to live and work in the town they were born and bred.”

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “After a careful discussion and deliberation, and having considered and balanced all relevant factors including the results of a public consultation exercise and implications of the decision, Gwynedd councillors decided at a full council meeting on 4 March to increase the council tax premium on second homes and long term empty properties from 50 per cent to 100 per cent for the 2021/22 financial year.”

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j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

“Buying abroad, instead”. But you are already buying abroad.

A Mayes
A Mayes
1 month ago

Excellent!

It looks like the tax increase for second homes in areas where local families are priced out of the market is already working.

Let’s hope many follow suit and families can live in the many towns and villages that have become empty for most of the year.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago
Reply to  A Mayes

Also lets hope it puts people off buying second homes in the first place 😊

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

What the welsh government need is a policy mirroring Guernsey you i fid look this up to buy a house in Guernsey you have to live in it not use it as a second home there are two types of house purveying one is the restricted list the other is the open this would be a better deterrent to people purchasing second homes as a holiday home

Frennifawr
Frennifawr
1 month ago

Good. 1 down, approx 26,000 to go! Not just the English mind. Come to West Wales e.g. Newport, Pembs, has now become Cyncoed and Pontcanna by the sea. Maybe they can also go abroad and buy second homes in England!

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Frennifawr

Yes, all those pseuds from Caerdydd with their snobby “better than thou” attitudes. Good people leave West and North Wales, get a good career going which is commendable, yet turn into real tvrds within a few years of settling in the capital and surrounding areas. Maybe there is a bit of the old “ishe bod yn Sais” afflicting them.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Seriously though Frenni, this pattern particularly in West Wales is showing a nasty divide among the Welsh nation. Frankly those toffs from Caerdydd are no better than those we despise and disparage from Cheshire and other parts of England. Many of them are so self centred, despite being seen spouting pro-indy stuff they would likely dip out if the going got tough.

Tim2
Tim2
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

And this comment is why the Welsh indy movement will probably never succeed.

You will never win people over to the argument if you just alienate them.

Frennifawr
Frennifawr
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

They are known locally as Sgymru Caerdydd!

Tim2
Tim2
1 month ago
Reply to  Frennifawr

Starting on your fellow Welsh men and woman now. Really?

Drew
Drew
1 month ago
Reply to  Frennifawr

I live near Newport and my family go back hundreds of years in the area but! When you take a walk in the town today you hear nothing but posh English accents…..where are all our Welsh folk gone? In council estates that’s where. These misfits need go back to where they came from as they’re destroying our communities. They have no link to the land, even the cemetery in the town is reglected because these misfits owe nothing to the past generations of the town. We need more than just council tax hike.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
1 month ago

Good, bye bye, next up Conwy, let’s go for 200%!

Annwyn Lewis
Annwyn Lewis
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

Don’t let the border hit you where the good Lord split you on the way out. Da bo!

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago

Awww! Is the second home owner throwing their toys out of the pram 😂😂🤣🤣 Good! Pay up or sell up!? It’s as simple as that 😏

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Amazing how the inbuilt colonial bully comes to the fore once the surface is scratched. She might be even less welcome “abroad” following Brexit.

Stephen George
Stephen George
1 month ago

Oh dear! How sad! Never mind! Or, in other words, good riddance.

Rob jones
Rob jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen George

How does Gwynedd council expect local people to afford the prices that second homes are selling for. I agree with the tax increase but those second home owners who are now selling at a ridiculous price are only able to sell to further people who wish a second home or with to leave places like London and escape to the country. Therefor Gwynedd council is out pricing homes for locals who will never be able to afford the homes in their towns and villages so wake up to the situation GCC

Shan Morgain
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob jones

There’ll be a shrinking number who can afford to buy with the higher rates to put them off. Plus the economy is tightening – income tac allowances are frozen so more fall in the higher rate band. Not helpful to grow an economy to cut spending power but short termism is the Tory way. But this and other factors will mean fewer can afford second homes. Buyers will be residents, or landlords letting to tourists through most f the year. So money flowing most of the year instead of just a few weeks.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Maybe Welsh Gov. fund to purchase at lower ( guaranteed ) sum, then let to rent at decent rate. In event of surplus stock, let out for holidays?

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob jones

Did you not read that 44% of houses were being bought as non main residences? Councils can’t afford to not receive, at least, full taxes from that many households. If someone can afford the ‘ridiculous prices’ then they can afford to pay the full council charges, water rates, Police charge etc. to help maintain the services, even if they don’t use them much. If the charges put them off then they don’t buy, and let the current owners carry on footing the bills for a property they may no longer like, or accept a lower profit if it becomes a… Read more »

Tim2
Tim2
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob jones

Have you only just woken up to the fact that all councils, whatever their political make up are just in it for the money?

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
1 month ago

Absolutely obscene that people are even allowed to buy additional houses when we are in a climate emergency and there are many who can’t afford to buy their first home in their place of birth. Mrs Robinson and those of her kind should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Good ridance. Now we need to stop 2nd homes masquerading as businesses that pay no rates.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Finally, let’s hope people start getting the message – Wales is not a damn holiday camp !

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Duggan
Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Cymru am byth 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Bye bye.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

“I personally don’t think it’s going to be good for Tywyn in the long term as more second homeowners are forced to sell up because of the hike”. How on earth did she come to the conclusion that this will be bad for Tywyn?
“…it was like I was going home”. No, going home is when you go to the West Midlands, Mrs. R.
The only conclusion that can be drawn from her first comment is that she is blind to the damage that she and others have done to Tywyn and other coastal villages in Playground Wales.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wrexhamian
Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

She probably thought she was in England anyway, see how she likes it in France or Spain where people are less likely to switch to English to accommodate her

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

Brilliant! And while you’re abroad don’t forget to stay there.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago

I applaud the council on one hand all concils should take a lead from Gwynedd council but i do not agree that its ok for companies to purchase property for holiday lets thats just as vad as second homes wales is not a playground for the Emmets

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