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Measures to curb second homes ‘a tsunami driving landlords to sell up’ says shadow minister

17 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Janet Finch-Saunders

Shadow Housing Minister Janet Finch-Saunders has described measures put in place by the Welsh Government to control the proliferation of second homes as “a tsunami driving landlords to sell up”.

The Welsh Conservative Senedd Member for Aberconwy also claims that efforts to reduce the number of holiday homes in communities as part of a cooperation deal with Plaid Cymru is exacerbating the shortage of private rental properties in Wales.

Figures compiled by the shadow minister with the National Residential Landlord Association reveal that 26.8 per cent of landlords in Wales have sold property in the last 12 months, with 49 per cent saying they plan to sell a property in the next 12 months.

Repossessions

Landlord repossessions have also been increasing over the past year, up to 150 in the second quarter of 2022 compared to 78 in the final quarter of 2021.

Mrs Finch-Sanders says: “There are communities such as Caernarfon and Bangor in Gwynedd, Llangefni and Holyhead in Anglesey, and Milford Haven and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, where providing a sufficient supply of rented accommodation is more important than limiting the numbers of second homes.

“The anti-multiple ownership policies stemming out of the Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour cooperation government are driving private landlords out of the sector.

“At a time when residents are waiting years on housing lists, the spend on temporary accommodation is sky-rocketing, and not enough houses are being built, Wales needs to retain a strong rented accommodation sector.

“For years, I have warned the Welsh Government that this key component of our diverse property market was going to collapse, and now we have it.

“Welsh Government policy is acting as a tsunami driving landlords to sell up, repossess, and as such reduce the number of homes available on the market.”

Council Tax premiums

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

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.

Campaigners against second homes claim increasing council tax on second homes and empty properties has already raised millions for local services.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith published figures last month following a Freedom Of Information request which revealed that Pembrokeshire Council raised £5.84 million, Anglesey and Gwynedd and Powys raised over £4m each through raising a council tax premium on empty properties and/or second houses between 2017 and 2019.


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George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

LOL, maybe the greedy pig will be forced to start selling her multiple properties off then and p**s off back to wherever she came from. This is good news, only the greedy toryscum would say otherwise.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

JFS is from the ‘Queen of Welsh
Resorts’ ie Llandudno a town she sees the very centre of the world.

George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

So this multiple property owning shadow housing minister definitely hasn’t got any ulterior motives to oppose this. She is doing this for you and me out of the goodness of her stone made heart.Pure conflict of interest in a position she shouldn’t be anywhere near.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago

As US economist Prof Michael Hudson points out, the market value of any property is based on the rent that can be extracted from it.

As the rent that can be extracted is generally higher than the available mortgage on the same property then potential owner occupiers will always be at a disadvantage in the current market since this imbalance drives demand for rented homes. Any change in this dynamic is to be welcomed if it benefits potential owner occupiers.

MR STEPHEN DANIEL
MR STEPHEN DANIEL
1 month ago

How, as Finch-Saunders claims, does forcing landlords to sell reduce the number of homes available on the market?

Connoisseur of Understatement
Connoisseur of Understatement
1 month ago

She’s claiming that there will be fewer homes available to rent. True, but a sell-off by landlords will drive freehold prices down and make owner-occupancy more affordable, so the rental market will be smaller anyway. Hence it’s a landlords’ problem, not a tenants’.

Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
1 month ago

As someone who owns more than her share of second homes, should she not be declaring an interest and avoid commenting on this issue? This would not be acceptable within Local Government as an integrity issue.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Jones, go to the back of the class, face the wall and chant; “We do not mention the words Tory and integrity in the same breath” until you lose your voice.

Glen
Glen
1 month ago

Good news for first time buyers then.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Hip hip!….

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

The anti-Welsh Tories don’t care about the housing crisis in Wales. It was their party who caused it in the first place. And the ones bemoaning this policy likely have a vested interest themselves being second, third & fourth home owners in the very consituencies suffering the Ill effects. This is the same nasty party who during Thatcher’s reign of terror in the 1980s sold off our council house stock, then reinvested the money made not in new council house builds but tax cuts for the idke rich. Their policies inflated the housing market and where we find ourselves today.… Read more »

Sion Jones
Sion Jones
1 month ago

If Tories are getting angry about it in then you know it’s working.

Doubtless they have had a lot of messages and letters from their Tory voting constituents that have prompted them to bring this up.

If it wasn’t having an affect on anyone it wouldn’t be a vote-winner (in their minds), so they wouldn’t be bringing it up.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago
Reply to  Sion Jones

This is the very person who thinks a house bought and left empty for most of the year counts as inward investment.

Doctor Trousers
1 month ago

So second home owners AND buy-to-let landlords are being forced to sell up?
The phrase “two birds, one stone” springs to mind……

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

From the minister who told us there would be a two and a half grand cap on our annual energy bills. How can anything she says be believed?

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Finch-Saunders…. The Ms For landlords.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago

I see most comments on here are as usual so short sighted due to an anti Tory hate that they cannot actually see beoynd what she is saying. How many on here actually rent from private landlords- if you dont then you basically have little idea of what is going on. I see dozens of people chasing a rental when it comes up for rent as there are so few to rent as she is saying. You say good that they can buy the ones being sold by Landlords- Have you tried to get a mortgage on minimum wage and… Read more »

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Not driving decent landlords away, just those wanting to turn a quick buck. My heart don’t bleed, when these landlords have driven local people out of their areas for so long. Pricing people out and if second home or holiday let’s, no incentive to invest in these areas as empty houses don’t spend money in shops.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

So … the same thing she says EVERY SINGLE WEEK?
Honestly why don’t they just replace her with a Janet French and Saunders Twitter account, set up to post the same message on a recurring weekly schedule?
You know? Like they did with Andrew are-Tweet Davies?
That could save money for the bankrupt (financially and morally) Chancellor.

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