Majority of second home owners in UK do not live near their properties

Second home owners are often accused of pushing up home prices for local people in top holiday spots in the UK but they also bring in tourists.

Now new research reveals that the majority of people who own property in these areas, some 80%, do not live locally. Indeed, some 62% live over 150 miles away from their property, according to the research from holiday insurance company Schofields.

Overall, on average UK holiday home owners live around 120 miles away from their holiday properties. In the popular tourist hotspots, the number who live within the local area is on average only 14%.

The research shows that in Cornwall just 11% of second home owners live within 25 miles of their property while in Devon it is 14% and in the Lake District just 4%.

Some regions around the UK are looking at different ways to tackle holiday and second home ownership. There is a threat of a fivefold council tax hike on second homes in the Yorkshire Dales and in St Ives’ tough new rules on holiday home and second home ownership mean any new build property with planning permission granted after June 2016 must be bought and be owned for full residential use.

‘We have two issues here. One is that young people are struggling to get on the housing ladder in their local areas especially when their area is popular with tourists. Secondly, holiday homes bring tourists to these areas, if they didn’t have anywhere to stay, they wouldn’t come,’ said Phil Schofield, head of inbound marketing at Schofields.

‘We have seen some places like St Ives bring in regulations that limit second home buyers and those not living within the local area. This could bring in an unintentional limit to the number of visitors who can stay in the local area, without more accommodation, tourist numbers can’t grow,’ he pointed out.

‘The threat of a fivefold council tax hike in the Yorkshire Dales could also have a knock-on effect with tourism. If this went through, second home owners who rent their properties out to holiday makers would have to increase the cost of staying,’ he explained.

‘This could see people a decrease in booking these properties and perhaps staying in areas outside the Yorkshire Dales with cheaper accommodation,’ he added.