Welsh second homes restrictions will hurt estate agents says property trade association
Restrictions on second homes planned by the Welsh Government will hurt estate agents, a property trade association has said.
Propertymark said that the plans to allow local authorities to more firmly regulate the buying and selling of second homes would add complexity to the buying and selling process, meaning potential delays and costs for sellers and agents.
The proposals would require pre-purchase planning applications to change a property’s use into a second home, which could slow down the conveyancing process and cause some sales to fall through, they said.
Daryl McIntosh, Policy and Campaigns Manager for Propertymark, said: “Firstly, we do not believe that use of a dwelling as a second home for private use constitutes development.
“Secondly, there is also just not enough evidence that an additional layer of bureaucracy will have anything other than a negligible impact on issues raised over second home ownership.
“Purchasers of additional homes are already subject to the higher rate of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and councils have powers to charge up to a 100 per cent premium on Council Tax, but the majority choose not to do so and we need to understand why.”
They were also concerned that moves in Wales could lead to parts of England, such as the Lake District and Cornwall being allowed to follow suit.
The Welsh Government’s proposals would create new use classes for second homes and short-term lets which would enable local planning authorities to manage their development.
Homes would be designated primary homes, secondary homes and short-term holiday lets, and the numbers of second homes and short-term holiday lets would have to be taken into account when considering the housing requirements and policy approaches in Local Development Plans.
The Welsh Government’s consultation on the issue closed on Friday.
On Saturday 1,200 people held a rally in Aberystwyth to call on the Welsh Government to act more decisively on the second homes and the housing crisis.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith who organised the protest said that they recognize that the plans set out in the consultation addressed some of their concerns, but also called for a Property Act that would provide a home for everyone and strengthen communities and the Welsh language in all parts of the country.
“Following pressure from people from all over Wales, the Government launched two consultations, one on creating a new use class and the other on the Government’s Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan,” Mabli Siriol Jones, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said.
“Pressure has had an effect, and today’s intention is to keep the pressure. We need an effective Property Act that will take the housing and planning system out of the free market and put it under the democratic control of our communities.
“We held the rally today, on the 60th anniversary of the broadcast of Tynged yr Iaith, a lecture which inspired the founding of Cymdeithas yr Iaith later that year. We have won several campaigns since then, thanks to the work of ordinary people, and we are confident that we will win this fight as well. ”
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