The latest research from estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, reveals that there is an estimated £21.4 billion worth of holiday homes in England & Wales with the South West alone home to as many as 20,000 holiday homes.
Barrows and Forrester analysed the number of holiday homes currently found across England and Wales, where the majority of them are located, and how much they are worth in the current market.
For the purposes of this analysis, a holiday home is classed as a residential property in England & Wales that is owned by an existing resident of England & Wales who already owns a primary home. The data does not, therefore, account for overseas or non-resident investors and owners.
The research shows that, in total, there are as many as 71,140 holiday homes found across England & Wales.
Based on the current national average house price of £300,636, these homes have an estimated combined market value of £21.4 billion.
The South West of England is the holiday home hotspot with 19,740 properties. This accounts for 27.7% of the national (Eng & Wales) total – more than any other region. With the average home in the region worth £327,144 today, these holiday homes have a combined market value of £6.5 billion.
The South East’s 11,995 holiday homes account for 16.9% of the national (Eng & Wales) whole, and with a local average house price of £391,766, they have a collective market value of £4.7 billion.
Wales has 10,070, 14.2% of the total with a combined value of £2.1 billion.
With just 1,990 holiday homes accounting for 2.8% of the national total, the West Midlands is the region home to the smallest holiday home market.
At local authority level, the most dominant holiday home hotspot is, of course, Cornwall. There are some 6,080 holiday homes located across the staycation destination of choice, with an estimated value of £1.93 billion in the current market.
North Yorkshire ranks second, with 3,355 holiday homes worth an estimated £925 million in today’s market, with Gwynedd (£520.5 million), Dorset (£917.6 million) and Westmorland and Furness (£569 million) also making the top five.
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester said, “If you travel to certain corners of England and Wales, holiday homes are an incredibly contentious subject. Wealthy buyers snapping up second homes in popular holiday locations result in these properties sitting empty for large parts of the year leading to a lack of housing stock for genuine locals who need a place to live.
Of course, the flip side is that second home buyers are, in some ways, undoubtedly good for local economies. Some of these homes will be used as short-lets which bring lots of visitors in, all of whom spend money and support local businesses. This is essential for many communities that rely on tourism to support their local economy.
It’s a complex and often moral conundrum, but one thing is for sure – there’s an immense amount of money wrapped up in holiday homes. The question is, does this money work to benefit the right people?”