More than 2.3 million residents of England and Wales have second homes in which they spend more than 30 days each year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Information obtained in the 2011 Census shows that 1.57 million of these properties are in a different local authority in England and Wales. In total, 11 per cent of these properties are specifically for holiday use. The vast majority (77 per cent) have their primary use for something other than holiday or work, with the main reason being the second addresses of students.
The most popular region for a holiday home is Cornwall, where many people have a holiday cottage for let. More than 23,000 second homes are registered in the area. However, the area of Gwynedd, which includes part of the Snowdonia National Park, has the highest ratio of holiday properties to permanent homes; for every 1,000 ‘normal’ homes, there are 64 holiday properties in the region.
Concerns have been raised by some pressure groups about the impact that a high concentration of holiday homes has on local communities. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is one such group, and it wants to see local councils giving more power to protect local house values from the impact of second homes, which could impact on those looking to buy holiday properties in future.
Kate Houghton, a planning officer at the CPRE, explained to the Guardian: “Tourism is obviously really important to the rural economy, but people who work in it need to be able to afford somewhere to live. We need to allow councils who do have these problems to be able to manage that.”