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Most holiday home owners do not live locally, research finds

More than 80% of holiday home owners do not live locally to the area where they own property, new research conducted by insurance company Schofields Ltd has revealed.

The vast majority of people who own property in the most popular UK holiday home hotspots don’t reside in the local vicinity, with some 62% living more than 150 miles away.

On average, holiday home owners live approximately 120 miles from their holiday properties. The stats complied by Schofields also found that, in the most popular tourist hotspots, the amount of holiday home owners who live within the local area was only 14% on average.

In Cornwall, just 11% lived within the local area (within 25 miles) of their holiday abode, while in Devon it was 14%. It’s slightly less stark in Norfolk (24%) and much less stark in Lothian (50%), but in the Lake District – one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions and holiday home hotspots – only 4% of holiday home owners live locally.

A number of regions in the UK are trying to find ways to tackle holiday and second home ownership, pointing out that it prices local people out of the property market and causes friction between those who live in an area on a permanent basis and those who merely use it as a holiday destination.

St Ives in Cornwall has imposed tough new rules on holiday home and second home ownership, which means that any new build property with planning permission granted after June 2016 must be purchased and owned for full residential use. Elsewhere, there is the threat of a fivefold council tax hike on second homes in the Yorkshire Dales.

“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. Two: holiday homes bring tourists to these areas, if they didn’t have anywhere to stay, they wouldn’t come,” Phil Schofield, head of inbound marketing at Schofields, said.

“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 added: “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. This could see a decrease in people booking these properties and perhaps staying in areas outside the Yorkshire Dales with cheaper accommodation.”

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