Holiday & Second Home Ownership
There have been reports in the National Press this week of growing anger and resentment towards the owners of Holiday and Second Homes. Some people are even suggesting that we may see a repeat of the criminal damage caused to property in Wales in the 80s & 90s when over 200 properties were damaged. Several matters are worrying residents of affected towns & villages: Firstly, it is thought that the influx of persons living in the property on a part time basis, will lead to dead zones being created. Schools will have to close, and local business will suffer. Also, properties being snapped up by wealthy, non local residents are seen by many as helping to push price property out of the reach of local people.
Communities face devastation and many villages are changing beyond recognition. But are Holiday & Second home owners all to blame? Probably not, our towns and villages have been changing since the end of the Second World War, its just that only recently have the changes have become more apparent. Holiday Home and second home owners could be filling the void left by the gradual migration of population to more urban areas. If you take home ownership out of the equation, many people born and bred in some of our most idyllic locations, no longer aspire to that way of life, they want to move to more urban areas, they perceive these areas to have better opportunities, and they have aspirations and needs that are not consummate with rural living.
Often young people leave for University or better paid jobs, never to return on a permanent basis. Their places are being taken by city dwellers that have made money, but, being worn down by the degradation and attrition of modern life, seek a more rural existence. Well the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Local economies are far more dynamic than they were 50 years, then communities were supported by local business, your lived and worked in your town. This is no longer the case, people travel further a field for work, they are prepared to commute longer distances, shopping habits have changed, many local business face closure simply because there is no longer a need for them. The village shop is disappearing but then, the bread man & coal man have all ready gone and the milkman is just about holding on. Change happens.
Property prices are still running at astronomically high levels, despite the recent pull back, the fact of the matter, when based on the traditional formula of lending (three times salary) property, anywhere in the country, not just rural areas, is beyond the reach of most first time buyers. Itâs not just the residents of the Lake District and Devon & Cornwall for example that cannot afford to buy property. Getting a foot on the housing ladder can mean moving to a new area and this is the stark reality facing many young people today, unless of course the government want to come up with some initiatives for local homes for local people.