An estate agency chief operating in an area where there are high levels of holiday home ownership has stood up for the sector, describing buyers of such properties as creators of employment and help “keep our economy going.”
Jeremy Miller - a partner at Millerson which has 12 offices in Cornwall - told the West Briton newspaper that the recent referendum opposing the sale of new homes to holiday buyers in St Austell highlighted a major problem with state interference in free markets.
“The people who own second homes in Cornwall help to keep our economy going and create employment for local people. It's no good if local people have a mortgage but no job. I am a believer in free markets, as soon as the government gets involved, there are inevitably unforeseen negative consequences” he says.
“Holiday home owners should be welcomed, because these people spend large sums in the local economy and create jobs. I do not think affordable housing schemes really work, mortgages are still hard to come by, and when they come to sell their first house they find that prices are lower, so the step up to the second rung is almost impossible. This then creates a serious blockage in the system” he adds.
Miller believes the way forward would be for building societies to offer special 'first time buyer' minimal interest rates for a limited period.
Miller also says that if the UK voted to leave the EU in next week’s referendum would lead to uncertainty “and this could only have a negative effect on the housing market” which in the short term would lead to a drop in house prices as the wider economy slowed.