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Second homes crisis: ‘More young people will be forced to leave if Welsh Government doesn’t act’

23 May 2021 3 minutes Read
Mabon ap Gwynfor

A lack of action from the Welsh Government on second homes will force more young people to leave their communities, Plaid Cymru have warned.

The “displacement of young people from communities because of the second homes proliferation will worsen if the government continues to hesitate and take half measures” Plaid’s Housing and Planning spokespereson Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said.

The Dwyfor-Meirionnydd MS said: “In Gwynedd, around 40 per cent of houses that go on the market every year are now bought as second homes causing a substantial rise in house prices.

“The overuse of properties as second homes in communities across Wales is driving local people out of the property market, putting unacceptable pressures on local services in peak season, and creating desolate, half-empty towns and villages in winter.

Mr has called on Julie James MS who is responsible for housing in the Welsh Government to take urgent action on the matter.

Mr ap Gwynfor said that the government must provide “transparency and detail” on what actions they will take to tackle the crisis, and described the situation as being “at crisis point”.

He said: “The second homes situation in communities across Wales is at crisis point. This is why I’m calling on the Welsh Government to intervene with the utmost urgency.

‘Lost generation’

“The Welsh Government has promised action on second homes before, during and after the election – we need transparency and detail now on what this will be.

“If the government continues to hesitate and take half measures, there’s a threat the crisis will leave in its wake a lost generation of young people forced to leave their square mile due to being priced out of the area in which they were born and raised.

“Plaid Cymru wants to see direct interventions to mitigate the crisis, such as changes to planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes, close the loophole that allows second homeowners to register their property as “businesses” in order to avoid paying the council tax premium, and the bringing forward of regulations to treble the Land Transaction Tax charge on the purchase of second properties.

“The government commissioned Dr Simon Brooks to look into the matter and make recommendations. The Government needs to find a way of implementing some or all these recommendations urgently.

“This is not confined to a few isolated far away communities. This crisis has a knock-on effect on every community, and therefore is of national importance.

“We owe it to the young people in these communities to solve this crisis and allow them to stay in the area they call home.”

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Edward Jones
Edward Jones
6 months ago

Who is selling their houses for use as second homes by incomers? Welsh speakers.

Bincs
Bincs
6 months ago
Reply to  Edward Jones

However unpalatable this statement seems, there is a lot of truth in what is being said alas. If we want to tackle the second home problem and English in-migration in general then some radical solutions need to be considered.

KarenB
KarenB
6 months ago
Reply to  Bincs

I am Welsh married to an English man. We currently live in the South East of England but we want to move to Wales (permanent move not 2nd home). I am so worried about the negative sentiment towards ‘English in-migration’ that we are starting to reconsider. This is a huge shame as its always been my dream to ‘go home’ when we were able. I don’t want to be somewhere we’re not wanted.

Mandi A
Mandi A
6 months ago
Reply to  KarenB

Wales always welcomes people into the community, you will know that if you grew up here. It’s the second homes, the buy-to-lets, the lying and deceit to avoid a few quid in council tax, when so many properties are empty a good part of the year, that’s what is getting people frustrated. My village is 70% holiday homes at least. Over lockdown, millions of pounds have been spent on extensions, balconies and patios in anticipation of a “staycation” fever. I know of cases where families “let” their houses to other family members then claim the “rental” back to avoid the… Read more »

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

An English County in a tourist area would take strong action. Our government is terrified of the English jackal press calling them racist. We have the Senedd to protect Wales so get on with it.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago

In the Soviet Union, wealthy Russians (including, of course, Communist Party bigwigs) were able to buy dachas for use as holiday homes in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.The prices were beyond the reach of local people. This didn’t come to an end until the Baltic States won their independence. Wales, in contrast, has a Government of its own, right now, that is in a position to put a stop to this outrage as a matter of urgency.

David Roberts
David Roberts
5 months ago

The answer is to provide more affordable homes. Farmland cost £7,000 per acre Building land costs £1m per acre. The council should buy farmland on the perimeter of villages at £7,000 per acre then rezone it for housing. They should then build starter homes at the rate of 10 per acre giving a land cost of £700 /plot Then build typically build 400 sqft 2 bed starter flats for £50,000 for sale and rent to locals only. This problem is not confined to Wales, All over the UK young couples cannot afford a home because of the underlying cost of… Read more »

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