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Research reveals dramatic impact rise in holiday lets is having on private renters in Wales

29 Sep 2022 2 minute read
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New research from the influential think tank the Bevan Foundation has revealed the dramatic impact holiday lets are having on the residential lettings sector in Wales.

In a unique analysis, the Bevan Foundation confirms that the number of properties listed on one major lettings platform, Airbnb, has increased from 13,800 in 2018 to 21,718 listings in May this year.

Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire and Powys have the largest number of properties listed.

The growth comes at the same time as there is an acute shortage of affordable homes to rent.

Last month the Bevan Foundation found that only 60 properties across the whole of Wales were advertised at rents at or below the amount that a low-income household can receive through Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit (known as Local Housing Allowance).


A detailed analysis of Airbnb lettings data also reveals just how lucrative the holiday let industry can be for property owners.

Steffan Evans of the Bevan Foundation said: “Property owners can often make significantly greater returns from a holiday rental than from residential lettings.

“On average, it would take a host letting out their property on Airbnb less than 10 weeks to obtain the same annual rental income as a landlord letting their property at LHA rates in all Welsh local authorities except Torfaen.”

While recognising the significance of holiday lets to the economy, the Foundation says a balance needs to be struck between the economic opportunities offered by the sector and ensuring people have a home.

Dr Evans added: “With so few homes to rent for low-income households, people are faced with an impossible choice: move out of their community, move into poor quality housing, try to plug the gap between their rent and their benefits by cutting back on food and heating, or become homeless.

“If we are to find a long-term solution to Wales’ housing crisis it is vital that work is undertaken to regulate the holiday let sector as well as the private rental sector.”

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NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 year ago

Hardly ground braking analysis by the Bevan Foundation- Anyone can see this is the case. Its the conclusion “If we are to find a long-term solution to Wales’ housing crisis it is vital that work is undertaken to regulate the holiday let sector as well as the private rental sector.” that rankles with me. They are saying the provision of social housing need to be provided by the Private sector (not the Govt) but that the private sector needs to be hammered with regulation. Sounds really attractive NOT for a private landlord.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

I think that we have something of a problem with the ‘conceptual space’ in which real world problems are researched and discussed. in the Golden Era of Capitalism it was taken for granted that public utilities and social housing should be provided by the state. However, with the advent of Free Market Fundamentalism from Thatcher onwards the conceptual space has been shifted. In particular Free Market Fundamentalists believe that those who are poor and disabled have no value and so should not be supported. After all, the main aim is to reduce Government spending and thus taxes on the rich.… Read more »

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