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How many Brits own second homes?

Getting onto the property ladder is a difficult transition in itself and with it comes a huge financial responsibility. In our generation, first time buyers are narrowing significantly and it is far more difficult to own one property, let alone own another. However, the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the English Housing Survey has compiled data on ownership, mortgages and second homes for owner occupiers and first time buyers in England. Having written about the process of buying a house through an estate agent, it is interesting to note the patterns 2012-2014.

So, how many Brits own second homes?

GOV UK has published the results and from 2012-13 found that 40.9% of homeowners owned a second home as part of a long-term investment. However, more interestingly, 61.3% owned a second home as a holiday getaway in England. The definition of second homes excluded properties owned outside of England and those with a retirement home stood at 15%. Significantly, the figures dropped for those owning a second home as a holiday home 2013-14 (59.9) and those wishing to purchase a second home in the UK as a long-term investment was greater (47.7%).

To further elaborate, the English Housing Survey (EHS) defined what a second home was and used a small sample size which was only indicative of thousands of properties. The total number of households reporting a second property 2012-13 stood at 2,194, of which the total number of owned or rented second properties reported was 3,222. It became clear that there were 2,275 second properties which were the main residence of someone else; a significantly large proportion. From 2013-14, it is understood that the total number of households reporting a second property was 2,308. Figures from the previous year had increased substantially as the total number of owned or rented second properties reported was 3,471.

The location of second homes is an integral factor when considering how many homeowners choose to invest in another property. Outside the UK, 79.2% of homes in European countries were second residences for homeowners in the UK. Compared to 2013-2014, this is considerably higher as the number of second homes reported in all European countries collectively was 67.6%. France and Spain were found to be the most common destination for Brits to purchase second homes, though again 2013-14, this figure reduced.

Lastly, EHS had surveyed the percentage of those aged between 16-75 that are owner occupiers 2013-14. Unsurprisingly, 16-24 year olds found it extremely difficult to own a property in the current housing market and only 9% were recorded to be homeowners in this age category. However with age came a greater opportunity to become a homeowner such as those aged 25-34 (36%), 35-44 (59%), 45-64 (72%) and those aged 65-74 (79%). As seen by the graph, the two categories 16-24 and 24-34 had suffered immensely from the property market between 1981-2014 with a decline in those being able to afford properties in the UK. Those aged 45 and above have had a steady increase of homeowners.

Percentage of homeowners according to age groups - second homes

Percentage of homeowners according to age groups


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