Posted: Wed 24th Apr 2024

Could We Soon Be Seeing Fewer Holiday Homes in Flintshire?

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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The Flintshire region, and the whole of Wales, has long been a favoured holiday spot. Tourism is also a major contributor to the country’s economy, to the tune of around £5 billion a year and is supported by organisations like wta.org.uk.

However, for some time now this has proved to be something of a double-edged sword.

This is because the proliferation of second homes and holiday lets including a profusion of Airbnbs has had a serious effect on the housing stock available for full-time residents – and a consequent increase in purchase and rental costs of homes of every kind.

Among the areas in which this has proved to be a more pressing problem are Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, Conwy and Ceredigion. Consequently, more and more local people are being priced out of the areas in which they’ve been born and brought up.

As long ago as 2017 the Welsh Government set up measures to add a premium to the council tax chargeable on second homes and long-term empty properties as outlined on www.gov.wales.

While this has resulted in a decrease in the number of properties falling into these categories there has still been a feeling that more could be done.

So, as of April 2023, the law was passed by the Welsh Assembly allowing the country’s 22 councils to increase the premium being charged to up to 300%, at their individual discretion.


Welsh assembly wide” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by grahamwell

Whereas some councils including Bridgend and Conwy have chosen to go for this maximum amount Flintshire has taken a more conservative approach by setting the level at 75%, as announced in February of this year. However Liberal Democrat councillor David Coggins Cogan, supported by the independent Helen Brown, put forward the motion that this figure should be increased to 100%.

Their reasoning was that this would not only raise valuable extra revenue, it would also free up more properties and help to address the issue of limited housing being available.

As it is, the increase to 75% is likely to see more and more qualifying properties being put up for sale. Owners are also likely to be trying to sell as quickly as possible through online agents like sold.co.uk who will buy a property before selling it on, thus saving the time it might otherwise take to market it and find a buyer.

This, theoretically, would also release the property back on to the open market far sooner, helping to alleviate the shortage of property in the region. This would be good news even if it was treated as a buy-to-let property as the rental sector is also in dire need of extra housing supply.

While the proposed increase in the council tax premium for Flintshire was widely recognised as a point for debate calls for it have come a little too late to be instigated in the 2024/25 financial year.

This is because, without an initial public consultation, it could lead to a costly and time-consuming judicial review.

However, there is optimism that the current measures will have at least some of the desired effect and that’s got to be good news for anyone looking for a permanent home in the region.

[Main image: The little town of Flint” (Public Domain) by Steve J F O’Brien]

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