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What Does the Future Hold for Your Second Home?

31st August 2017

Can You Afford to Keep Your Second Home?

There is no dispute that we are amid a housing crisis in the UK. There is a significant shortage of houses coming onto the market, and an issue with affordability for home buyers. Not enough properties, and what is on the market is too often unaffordable. This is not only a problem for first time buyers. Homeowners higher in the chain looking for the next step up to a larger property, or one in a more desirable and expensive location, are also struggling to find the cash to fill the widening gap between house prices and earnings.

But what about those fortunate enough to own more than one property? Where is this crisis leaving them?

Increasing Costs for Second Home Owners

Increased stamp duty, higher council tax and in some cases, tougher regulations imposed by local authorities, is having a negative impact on would-be second home buyers. Those who already own more than one property are also now facing tough decisions because of rising costs. Those with buy-to-let property are also affected by cuts in tax benefits and the removal of wear and tear allowance.

In some UK areas, most notably Wales, local councils are permitted to charge higher council tax for second home owners. Those affected feel that they are being penalised. After all, they do not utilise rubbish collection, roads and street lighting any more than their neighbours. In fact, they are likely to use other services even less than permanent residents, such as schools and doctors.

Second home options – sell up or rent out?

With all this directly impacting second home owners, many are opting to sell up, whilst others are moving into the rental market. This is particularly attractive for owners of properties that are currently used exclusively by the homeowner, and their family and friends. Rental income gained from the property can be used to offset increasing costs. Whilst previously the property may have sat empty, it can instead generate income.

If you are struggling to hold on to your second home, rather than selling, this is the ideal time to consider letting your property. An alternative option to letting your home to long term tenants, is short term holiday letting. Some of our clients have achieved an impressive three times more rental income through holiday letting their properties, than they were receiving from long term rental. Please get in touch with our team to discuss this option in more detail, to see if it is a viable pathway for you.

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