Second homes and empty homes

Second homes include homes which people own and let out as holiday accommodation, such as AirBnB’s. While these homes can often help to attract tourism into parts of Wales – supporting local businesses – significant concentrations of them in certain places cause damage to communities and drive up local housing costs.

Currently, parts of Wales – in particular tourist ‘honeypot sites’ – are facing a growing number of second homes, which if left unchecked can erase and erode local communities. This can pose a particular risk to the Welsh language and culture. 

According to a 2019 Senedd report, there are around 27,000 properties that have been empty for 6 months or more in Wales. Homes can become empty for a number of reasons. People can inherit a property but not have the capacity or resource to sell or rent it, properties can fall into disrepair and be too expensive to make saleable or liveable. Communities raise some issues that empty homes can cause, such as vermin and pests, antisocial behaviour and arson.

Here in Wales, we are in the middle of a housing emergency which is impacting over a million of us. So to see tens of thousands of empty properties being wasted while over 67,000 people are waiting for a social home and around 6300 people are in temporary accommodation is frustrating. Additionally, houses being taken out of communities to be used as holiday homes exacerbates this problem.

We’re campaigning to try and tackle these injustices – if you feel the same way, sign up for the Fight For Home now.