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Second homes and Airbnb-style short lets blamed in new affordability report

A government report suggests that house prices are rising at three times the national rate in some rural and coastal areas - with more blame being laid on holiday homes and Airbnb-style short lets. 

The report published by the Office for National Statistics has highlighted steep house price increases in tourist hotspots around the UK of as much as 25 per cent in North Wales and 22.5 per cent in North Devon in the year to July. In comparison, the average UK house price increased by eight per cent.

The ONS says this risks pricing out many low paid workers - vital to tourist businesses such as hospitality.

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The office says a surge in the purchase of holiday homes, the general ‘race for space’ and increasing numbers of Airbnb-style short lets are making the position still worse.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, says: “The pandemic has been a catalyst for change in many people’s lives and we are now seeing a rush for larger properties, more outside space and more idyllic living.

“Couple this with low interest rates and the stamp duty holiday and what we have seen is a tremendous amount of pressure on rural and coastal areas whose housing provision and infrastructure are not designed for such an influx.

“We’ve also seen house prices in these areas inflate; this is because many properties have seen such demand that they have gone to best and finals with up to 19 buyers per home.

 

“As buyers from out of area bring with them higher wages, the bidding wars have been astronomical in certain hot spots.

“Other areas, mainly cities such as London, have seen a dramatic decrease in demand and therefore low prices.

“Because of this, we have seen these places become more attractive for investors.”

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