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Report explodes myth of English holiday homes in Wales

Publication date: Mar 21, 2006 12:13:04 PM

A new report challenging the belief that second and holiday homeowners are to blame for local housing problems in rural Wales, will be released this week by University College London.

The 'Second and Holiday Homes Research Report', by Dr Mark Tewdwr-Jones from the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL, shows that only 1.5 per cent of all homes in Wales are second or holiday homes.

This report is the first research report commissioned by the National Assembly for Wales since devolution and the first ever to survey housing stock in Wales. It uses data from the 1991 census and recent Council Tax returns. It estimates that of 1.3 million total housing stock in Wales only 19,500 are second or holiday homes.

Dr Tewdwr-Jones says:

"Second and holiday home buying in Wales is not as great an issue at it was 10 years ago. Holiday homes often take the form of chalets which are seen as beneficial to the tourist economy, whilst second homes are usually created from properties that are less desirable to local people, because of location or condition."

The report found that permanent retirement migration and a lack of affordable housing are more significant issues for Welsh communities. Commuting is affecting small towns in both South East and North East Wales, whilst retirement homes concentrated in coastal and western regions are impacting on local prices resulting in first-time buyers being seriously disadvantaged by the current market.

The report makes 22 recommendations to the National Assembly for Wales and stresses the need for Government to address the issue of housing pressure in the countryside.

Notes to Editors:

For further information, contact Heidi Foden, UCL Media Relations, 020 7679 7678.

An executive summary of 'Second and Holiday Homes and the Land Use Planning System Research Report' by Dr Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Dr Nick Gallent and Alan Mace from the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London is available from UCL Media Relations.