26th February 2010
English buy record number of 2nd homes
The number of English people owning second homes in England reached an all-time high in 2009, according to research by Knight Frank.
A 2.6% increase on the 2008 figure equated to an additional 6,212 second homes pushing the overall total to a record 245,384.
Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said: “The number of second homes in England has been steadily rising over recent years.
"The recession and credit crunch saw this trend falter in 2008 – when the total fell by 912 (or 0.4%). The recovery in 2009 – with an additional 6,212 English second-homes, marked a return to long term growth.
According to Knight Frank there are four clear reasons for the upturn in demand for second homes:
- Confidence - renewed economic and consumer confidence in early 2009 encouraged more affluent buyers to reconsider purchases they had put on hold in 2008.
- Finance costs - very low interest rates encouraged demand from wealthy buyers.
- Currency change - a weaker pound made house purchases in the Eurozone more expensive and encouraged buyers to look at second homes in the UK.
- Investment alternatives – very weak returns on cash investments and nervousness over equity market volatility drove investors to consider property investment options again.
Liam Bailey added: “Wider social trends have been pushing the demand for UK based second homes over recent years.
"There is a perception of a “green” credential that attaches itself to holidays in the UK, in addition, the “localism” trend, popularised by programmes like River Cottage has also encouraged an exploration of more local holiday options.
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