The Office for National Statistics has told us what we already know, that the young and poorly paid cannot afford houses prices in tourist hotspots. The stats say:
- UK house price growth is being driven by rural and coastal areas, with young and low paid workers increasingly facing the prospect of being unable to afford to live there.
- In July 2021, house prices were rising at three times the national rate (8.0%) in some rural and coastal areas, such as Conwy in North Wales (25.0%), North Devon (22.5%) and Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales (21.4%), continuing a trend seen during the pandemic. The seven areas that recorded house price falls were all London boroughs.
- Prospective home buyers are seeking more space, with prices for detached houses (9.0% growth in July) consistently rising faster than terraced houses (7.7%) or flats (6.1%).
- UK private rents increased by 1.3% in the 12 months to August, rising to 2.0% excluding London. The fastest rates of growth were in the East Midlands (2.7%) and the South West (2.6%), while London was the only region to record a decrease (-0.4%).
- Growth of tenant demand appears to be exceeding supply of lettings, with some second homes turning into holiday lets. This affects those looking to rent in tourist hotspots, where rates of second home ownership are highest.
- While house prices have been rising, many people have seen their income fall because of furlough, reduced hours or losing their job.
- Tourist hotspots were among the areas with the highest average furlough rates during the pandemic.