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Locals living in ‘tents and yurts because of second home owners’, says housing officer

06 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Solva Harbour. © Copyright Alan Hughes and licensed for reuse (CC 2.0)

Locals are being forced to live in tents and yurts because they’re being priced out of the housing market by “second-home owners”, it has been claimed.

Housing officer Rachel, who lives in a £400-a-month rented static caravan on a farm near the village of Solva, in Pembrokeshire, made the claim in an upcoming episode of A Home of Our Own on BBC Radio 4.

She told the programme, which lifts the lid on the housing crisis engulfing the UK, that friends are living locally in tents and yurts, because Solva, near St Davids, is so popular with second-home owners.

Rachel, who grew up locally, and lives with her partner Angus, said finding a house, flat or even caravan to rent long-term at an affordable rate is very difficult.

The couple say any mortgage could get would not be big enough to enable them to buy a property in the area.

On second home owners, Rachel said: “They can make so much money with Airbnbs and holiday lets, we can’t compete. At some point, if we can’t find anywhere to rent, let alone buy, we are going to have to move away. Living like this is not sustainable.”

In one part of the programme, while walking along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Rachel points out a stretch of development land on the edge of Solva, where the building plots alone are selling for around £500,000. This is before a brick is laid. Finished homes would sell for much more.

‘Cold winter’ 

The couple say they have struggled through one cold winter in the caravan they’re renting.

Angus, who works with young people in residential care, said: “The walls are only 5mm thick. We didn’t spend much time in the bedroom in winter. It gets damp. We slept in the living area with a gas burner on.

He suggested Pembrokeshire gets overlooked, saying: “It often feels like we get forgotten about.”

According to Prof Paul Cheshire the housing crisis is getting more acute.

He said: “The rich have been getting richer relative to the rest of us. So demand for houses in really outstanding locations has increased, and those prices – relatively – have gone up more than in other areas.”

The episode of A Home of Our Own is due to air on 15 October on BBC Radio 4.

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Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
16 days ago

When I was a child (growing up in the ’70s) Solva (or Solfach to give it its proper name) was a Welsh speaking community. Just goes to show what second home ownership does to a community, not that the second home owners care of course. Such people are utterly selfish and beneath contempt.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
16 days ago

We have a shortage of housing in Wales.

People that permanently live outside Wales should NOT be allowed to own real estate property in Wales.
Companies/Corporations registered outside Wales should NOT be allowed to own or control real estate property in Wales.

Housing in Wales IS for the people of WALES.

Sumner Tesker DPhil
Sumner Tesker DPhil
15 days ago

Good idea

Just got to get every Welsh owner of a second home or timeshare – UK or anywhere else to give their’s back first.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
15 days ago

No you go first, you started it.

Hedda Mulgrew
Hedda Mulgrew
14 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Someone had to sell the first house didn’t they?

j humphrys
j humphrys
16 days ago

Mr Drakeford, do something!

Grayham Jones
16 days ago

Stop all second homes 🏠 in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 give all second homes to young welsh people who can’t get on the housing market because of incomers it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh

Sumner Tesker DPhil
Sumner Tesker DPhil
15 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

There is a Welsh guy who owns a flat in Majorca that my Malloquin cousin likes.

Is she OK to reoccupy it?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
15 days ago

That would depend on whether Majorca has a housing crisis comparable to that in the west of Cymru, and on the degree of local opposition to second homes there.

Hedda Mulgrew
Hedda Mulgrew
14 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Housing crisis where people think not being able to afford a 5 bedroom house on minimum wage is oppression you mean?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
14 days ago
Reply to  Hedda Mulgrew

No.

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