Second homes crisis threatens ‘lost generation’ of young people priced out of communities
A Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate has warned that the second homes crisis threatens a “lost generation” of young people being priced out of their communities.
Mabon ap Gwynfor, who is standing in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, cited figures showing that in Gwynedd, around 40 per cent of houses that go on the market every year are now bought as second homes.
He has set out his party’s package of policies to tackle the crisis facing rural Wales.
These include allowing councils to charge council tax premiums of up to 200 per cent on second homes, closing the loophole that allows second homes to be registered as businesses, and changing planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes.
Mabon ap Gwynfor said: “The second homes crisis facing many rural communities threatens leaving in its wake a lost generation of young people forced to leave their square mile due to being priced out of the area.
“In Gwynedd, around 40 per cent of houses that go on the market every year are now bought as second homes and we have all seen such properties advertised at eye-watering sums.
He added: “A Plaid Cymru government would introduce a package of policies designed to tackle the crisis including allowing councils to charge council tax premiums of up to 200 per cent on second homes, and close the loophole that currently allows second homes to be registered as ‘businesses’ in order to evade the premium.
“We would also change planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes within a local authority area, and bring forward regulations to treble the Land Transaction Tax charge on the purchase of second properties.
“In addition, a Plaid government would redefine the term ‘affordable home’ which currently includes properties worth over £250,000 – a figure way out of reach for many young people in our rural communities.
“Young people are at the heart of our rural communities and a Plaid government would be wholly committed to giving them every opportunity to earn, learn and live in their area of choice, wherever in Wales that may be.”