Skip to content

Renting in Devon: holiday lets vs rural communities

  • by JW

“the toll that the rise in staycations and the boom in rural living have had on tight-knit communities”


The ‘housing crisis’ in these parts isn’t getting any better.

Devon Live reports that a surge in homes marketed for short term holiday lets is strangling rural communities

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), believes that an explosion of holiday lets in rural areas has left Devon residents at risk of homelessness, with data showing that 176,058 rural families in the UK were waiting for accommodation in 2020.
Research collected by the charity shows the demand for social housing is growing nearly six times faster than the rate of supply in rural areas. The charity claims at current rates, the backlog of low-income families needing accommodation would take 121 years to clear.
Data collected via AirDna and ONS government data live tables also showed that between September 2016 and September 2021, there was an 816% increase in the number of short-term listings in Devon.
CPRE claims the housing problem is most acute in staycation hotspots, where hundreds of homes previously available to rent to local people have been switched to short-stay holiday rentals.

Rural communities ‘strangled’ by holiday let surge – Rural Services Network

Rural communities ‘strangled’ by holiday let surge – Devon Live

BBC Radio 4 came from North Devon this morning:

Emma has lived in North Devon her whole life, but now she’s not sure she’ll be able to stay. A few months ago, she was given notice to leave by her landlord but, with rental properties scarce and prices soaring, finding a new place to live is proving difficult. Emma wants to understand the forces making North Devon, along with many rural spots across the country, unaffordable for locals, and how she can reset the balance. She also examines the toll the rise in staycations and the boom in rural living have had on her tight-knit community. Even as she fights to stay in the village where she grew up, Emma recognises it is becoming less and less like the place she loves. But in leading a campaign to help local renters, Emma feels the passion and power of her community once again.

BBC Radio 4 – My Name Is…, My Name Is Emma

As the stories proliferate:

Homeless Devon family offered hotel room amid housing chaos – Devon Live

People in tears as North Devon housing crisis intensifies – Devon Live

Brixham MP highlighting staggering number of second homes | Torbay Weekly

There is some positive news:

Developer announces affordable homes for East Devon and Exeter by 2026

Second home owners abusing tax loophole will be forced to pay – Devon Live