Wales is becoming a ‘luxury getaway for the affluent,’ according to a warning about the high demand for second houses.
Fears have been raised that a “lost generation of young people” in Wales would be priced out of the housing market due to rising demand for second houses, with a stark warning that immediate action is needed to mitigate the damage.
Liz Saville Roberts, MP and leader of Plaid Cymru, stated in a short video aired on Channel 4’s Political Slot that second home owners buying property – either as holiday houses or buy-to-lets – was fueling a housing crisis across the UK. She said that rising demand had caused housing prices in Wales to grow at a “alarming rate.”
Every year, 40 percent of homes on the market in Gwynedd are purchased as second homes. Houses in some parts of the county sell for approximately £500,000, greatly above the area’s average incomes, which are among the lowest in the UK.
Ms Saville Roberts warned viewers that “once critical Welsh speaking villages are becoming into a part-time playground for wealthy holidaymakers.”
“This has now reached a point where communities’ housing supply is on the verge of collapsing.
“Demand for social housing exceeds supply, and the sheer volume of second houses and buy-to-let properties is driving local families away.”
“Unless it is addressed, the problem will leave a lost generation of young people who will be forced to leave their square mile owing to being priced out of the place where they were born and raised,” she continued.
Ms Saville Roberts addressed the audience, emphasizing that the Welsh government must implement three key measures in order to overcome the housing problem.
She outlined the suggested guidelines as follows:
“- All properties are required to pay council tax, and second homes are no longer eligible for business rates.
Planning authorization will be granted for the conversion of dwellings into vacation rental properties.
Imposing a licensing system to allow for checks on the intended uses of homes — to ensure that locals have enough housing.”
“If nothing is done about this situation now, we may well see greater depopulation, and yet more of our young people leaving these areas,” Ms Saville Roberts added, expressing her concerns over the long-term impact on local communities.
“Our villages will become empty box clusters; critical public services and rural areas will become increasingly difficult.” Brinkwire Summary News.