“We need tourism in Cornwall — there are not many other industries down here. But currently, we’re a little out of balance and the tourism industry, namely short-term rentals, are pushing people away from their communities and causing an imbalance in the housing system.”
Recently, Plymouth Live looked at the main ’causes’ of the housing crisis in these parts:
The South West has some of the highest house prices compared to average income in the country, blamed on a limited housing stock, and the rise in existing housing being used for second homes and short-term holiday lets. Too few homes are being built and many new homes are unaffordable for local people especially those in key worker roles.
There have been some moves to limit in turn these short-term holiday lets:
Perhaps, because local people are getting more vociferous – with this campaign among many, started in Cornwall:
Another Cornwall campaigner makes the point:
We need tourism in Cornwall — there are not many other industries down here. But currently, we’re a little out of balance and the tourism industry, namely short-term rentals, are pushing people away from their communities and causing an imbalance in the housing system.
To prove it, do a search anywhere in Cornwall on Airbnb. Then do the same search for houses to buy on Zoopla. Then do the same search for rental properties on Zoopla.
I’ll do it for you…
Last week, the BBC reported from Cornwall – on families facing the realities of the local housing market:
House prices in Cornwall rose 50% faster than the UK average in the first year of the pandemic, to £270,000 – 13 times the average local salary, £20,710, which is 20% lower than that of the wider UK.
And this week, Channel Four reports from Cornwall – on how attractive it is for the holiday-makers who are fuelling the market in second homes and short-term holiday lets:
But it’s an issue across the South West – with housing becoming ever more out of reach:
How much, though, is ‘property porn’ simply exacerbating this?
In other words, the growth in second homes and short-term holiday lets is a direct cause of the growth in homelessness.
This is from 2017 and the region’s largest city:
This is from last summer, after a season of staycations:
And this is from last month, which makes the point very clear: