Rise in second homes 'forcing locals out'

Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon
Image caption Stratford-upon-Avon saw one of the highest increases in registered second homes

Families are being forced out of their local areas as more buyers seek second homes in rural locations, the National Housing Federation has warned.

The federation said the demand for holiday homes in some English countryside districts was pricing locals out of the market.

It said new research showed Uttlesford in Essex saw the biggest jump in second homes between 2004 and 2009.

North Kesteven in Lincolnshire had the second biggest increase.

In Uttlesford, the number of registered second homes rose from 10 in 2004 to 214 in 2009.

'Damaging impact'

North Kesteven saw a more subdued rise, with the number of second homes increasing from 128 in 2004 to 242 in 2009.

Aylesbury Vale in Buckinghamshire took the third place on the list with an increase from 217 holiday homes to 410 during the same period.

Other regions in the list's top 10 include Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, North Lincolnshire, north-east Derbyshire, Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, South Kesteven in Lincolnshire, Braintree in Essex and North Somerset.

The federation, which represents 1,200 housing authorities in England, said buyers were no longer just interested in the traditional second home hotspots of Cornwall, Devon and north Norfolk.

Increased prices

In a statement, its chief executive David Orr said: "Some areas of the English countryside have seen a huge rise in the number of properties being bought as holiday homes, which has pushed up prices beyond the level most local people can afford.

"If families and young people are priced out of their local villages it can have a hugely damaging impact on community life, with village shops, schools and pubs closing in alarming numbers as a result."

The research also suggested that the cost of an average home had risen in the last decade - from £175,278 in 2000 to £303,923 in 2009.

It also suggested there had been a rise in prices in the same period in North Kesteven - from £74,748 to £159,603.

The other areas are also suggested to have more than doubled in price in that time.

The organisation called for local authorities in such areas to create action plans which would tackle the situation.

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