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News: Second homes under attack from locals hit by high house prices

Fri, 16 Oct 20

Local people in a part of Wales claim they are being priced out of their communities by investment buyers and second home owners.

The BBC reports that protests have been held in Llangefni, Anglesey, with holiday home owners and landlords considered the chief targets. The area’s local council, too, is urging the Welsh Government to control the numbers of homes purchased by non-locals.

A BBC Online report quotes a report suggesting that 36 per cent of house sales in Anglesey last year were classed as additional homes, while Census figures - albeit dating back to 2011 - show some local neighbourhoods with up to 43 per cent of homes empty for most of the year. 

The report says Anglesey council wants a government-backed cap on the number of second homes in the community, demanding a rule change so planning permission is required to convert a property into an additional one.

The Welsh Government says it recognised the challenges second homes presented to the affordability and availability of housing in some communities.

The situation appears to be exacerbated by Coronavirus restrictions in Wales.

 

Earlier this year, during the UK-wide spring lockdown, a councillor in Gwynedd warned that people could “turn vigilante" against those visiting second homes in Wales.

Gareth Williams, who represents Botwnnog, said at the time that "feelings are running incredibly high" and he was worried locals would take action. 

There was also speculation that some second-home owners were using a loophole to claim grants - in a £1.1 billion Welsh government package - that were actually aimed at helping small businesses survive the Coronavirus crisis.

 

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