Review of Second and Long Term Empty Homes

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Taking action on second and long-term empty homes

We are conducting a review of our current policy to see how effective it is in reducing the number of second and long-term empty homes in Pembrokeshire.

Please note that the information below is extracted from the full Consultation Document (which is available to the right). We would urge you to read the full document where possible.

Reducing the number of second and long-term empty homes in the county is seen as desirable because:

▪ Increasing the supply of affordable housing is a priority across the whole of Pembrokeshire and a national priority. Second and long-term empty homes can reduce the number of houses available to local residents.

▪ Pembrokeshire has the second highest rate of second or empty homes in Wales. The 2011 Census shows that one in five or more homes are either empty or second homes, in over 20% of our local areas.

▪ There is a strong statistical relationship between the proportion of second and long-term homes in local areas and house price to income ratio. The higher the proportion of empty or second homes, the higher the house price to income ratio.

A high house price to income ratio makes it difficult for people living and working within that local area to afford to buy property there.

Within the UK as a whole, house prices in Pembrokeshire are comparatively affordable. In Wales, however, Pembrokeshire has (2019) the joint fourth highest ratio of median house price to median gross annual workplace based earnings in Wales, behind Monmouthshire (at 8.74), Vale of Glamorgan (at 7.86), Ceredigion (at 7.32) and equal with Cardiff at 7.10. Figures for 2020 are not yet available.

This means that while people from elsewhere in the UK find it relatively easy to afford property in Pembrokeshire, it is much more difficult for those living and earning locally.

▪ Second homes tend to be in coastal and rural areas where there is often a shortage of affordable housing. Fewer dwellings are built in rural areas and therefore supply in relation to affordable housing is generally less.

▪ There is a high proportion of second homes in Pembrokeshire communities where the number of Welsh speakers is above the national average (20%). A high proportion of second homes in a community poses a threat to the viability of local schools and opportunities to nurture and grow the Welsh language within these communities.

What has happened since the Council Tax premiums for second and long-term empty homes were introduced in Pembrokeshire?

▪ In common with house prices England and Wales, generally, house prices in Pembrokeshire have risen in 2020 – 21. In Pembrokeshire, house prices are higher in communities that have high proportion of second homes (more than 10%). Since 2013/14 the price difference between communities with high proportions of second homes and other communities has remained the same. There is no strong indication that house prices are rising faster in communities with high proportions of second homes.

▪ The percentage of houses with no usual resident is almost the same in 2021 (12.8%) as it was in 2011 (12.7%). However, the communities that had high rates of holiday lets and second homes now have even higher rates. Between 2017 and 2021, the total number of houses has grown by 7% and the absolute number of homes with no usual resident increased.

▪ The number of second homes where the premium is charged has dropped steadily between October 2017 and October 2021 by 6%, due to a combination of a rise in the number of exceptions and a steady transfer of properties from domestic Council Tax (especially second homes) to holidays lets (which are subject to business rates).

▪ Holiday lets have doubled since 2016. Holiday lets can make an important contribution to the tourism economy, however, their number can be on a par with second homes. High proportions of holiday lets reduce the availability of housing for local people.

What options is the Council looking at from 1st April 2022 onwards?

Second Homes

Premium

Option 1

25% premium (reduction)

Option 2

50% premium (status quo)

Option 3

75% premium (increase)

Option 4

100% premium (increase)

Long-Term Empty Homes

Properties unoccupied and unfurnished for 3 years +

Option 1

Incremental increase 25%, 50%, 100% depending on length of time property has been unoccupied and unfurnished (status quo)

Option 2

As second homes premium – see above

Your Views

You can give your views via our online response form (below).

You'll be asked to register on our engagement, consultation and customer feedback site. You'll be asked a series of monitoring questions. You are not required to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to. However, providing this information will help us to assess how successful we are being in engaging with different sections of the population. This, in turn, will help us to better meet the needs of the local community. You can find out more about the questions we ask on our website here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/equalities/why-do-we-ask-equality-and-welsh-language-questions

You can find out more about how we manage and protect the information you provide in our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Once you’re registered you can then simply ‘Sign In’ to take part in any future engagement, consultation or customer feedback activities.

If you experience any difficulties in responding please email surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for assistance.

The closing date for responses is Monday 26th July 2021

Taking action on second and long-term empty homes

We are conducting a review of our current policy to see how effective it is in reducing the number of second and long-term empty homes in Pembrokeshire.

Please note that the information below is extracted from the full Consultation Document (which is available to the right). We would urge you to read the full document where possible.

Reducing the number of second and long-term empty homes in the county is seen as desirable because:

▪ Increasing the supply of affordable housing is a priority across the whole of Pembrokeshire and a national priority. Second and long-term empty homes can reduce the number of houses available to local residents.

▪ Pembrokeshire has the second highest rate of second or empty homes in Wales. The 2011 Census shows that one in five or more homes are either empty or second homes, in over 20% of our local areas.

▪ There is a strong statistical relationship between the proportion of second and long-term homes in local areas and house price to income ratio. The higher the proportion of empty or second homes, the higher the house price to income ratio.

A high house price to income ratio makes it difficult for people living and working within that local area to afford to buy property there.

Within the UK as a whole, house prices in Pembrokeshire are comparatively affordable. In Wales, however, Pembrokeshire has (2019) the joint fourth highest ratio of median house price to median gross annual workplace based earnings in Wales, behind Monmouthshire (at 8.74), Vale of Glamorgan (at 7.86), Ceredigion (at 7.32) and equal with Cardiff at 7.10. Figures for 2020 are not yet available.

This means that while people from elsewhere in the UK find it relatively easy to afford property in Pembrokeshire, it is much more difficult for those living and earning locally.

▪ Second homes tend to be in coastal and rural areas where there is often a shortage of affordable housing. Fewer dwellings are built in rural areas and therefore supply in relation to affordable housing is generally less.

▪ There is a high proportion of second homes in Pembrokeshire communities where the number of Welsh speakers is above the national average (20%). A high proportion of second homes in a community poses a threat to the viability of local schools and opportunities to nurture and grow the Welsh language within these communities.

What has happened since the Council Tax premiums for second and long-term empty homes were introduced in Pembrokeshire?

▪ In common with house prices England and Wales, generally, house prices in Pembrokeshire have risen in 2020 – 21. In Pembrokeshire, house prices are higher in communities that have high proportion of second homes (more than 10%). Since 2013/14 the price difference between communities with high proportions of second homes and other communities has remained the same. There is no strong indication that house prices are rising faster in communities with high proportions of second homes.

▪ The percentage of houses with no usual resident is almost the same in 2021 (12.8%) as it was in 2011 (12.7%). However, the communities that had high rates of holiday lets and second homes now have even higher rates. Between 2017 and 2021, the total number of houses has grown by 7% and the absolute number of homes with no usual resident increased.

▪ The number of second homes where the premium is charged has dropped steadily between October 2017 and October 2021 by 6%, due to a combination of a rise in the number of exceptions and a steady transfer of properties from domestic Council Tax (especially second homes) to holidays lets (which are subject to business rates).

▪ Holiday lets have doubled since 2016. Holiday lets can make an important contribution to the tourism economy, however, their number can be on a par with second homes. High proportions of holiday lets reduce the availability of housing for local people.

What options is the Council looking at from 1st April 2022 onwards?

Second Homes

Premium

Option 1

25% premium (reduction)

Option 2

50% premium (status quo)

Option 3

75% premium (increase)

Option 4

100% premium (increase)

Long-Term Empty Homes

Properties unoccupied and unfurnished for 3 years +

Option 1

Incremental increase 25%, 50%, 100% depending on length of time property has been unoccupied and unfurnished (status quo)

Option 2

As second homes premium – see above

Your Views

You can give your views via our online response form (below).

You'll be asked to register on our engagement, consultation and customer feedback site. You'll be asked a series of monitoring questions. You are not required to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to. However, providing this information will help us to assess how successful we are being in engaging with different sections of the population. This, in turn, will help us to better meet the needs of the local community. You can find out more about the questions we ask on our website here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/equalities/why-do-we-ask-equality-and-welsh-language-questions

You can find out more about how we manage and protect the information you provide in our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Once you’re registered you can then simply ‘Sign In’ to take part in any future engagement, consultation or customer feedback activities.

If you experience any difficulties in responding please email surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk for assistance.

The closing date for responses is Monday 26th July 2021