Data from the latest census tell us some astonishing numbers. The 2021 Census tells us that a usual resident somewhere in England and Wales has identified where they were on census day as a second address they use as a holiday home for more than 30 days a year, even if they do not own them. So:

  • Around 70,000 second addresses were used as holiday homes, visited by more than 200,000 people in England and Wales.
  • Holiday homes accounted for 4.1% of all second addresses and were mainly concentrated in coastal areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or national parks, including the Lake District, Dartmoor and Eryri (Snowdonia).
  • The popular holiday destination of Cornwall had the highest numbers of holiday homes and people who use them, with 6,080 holiday homes and 14,230 holiday home users.
  • Wales was the area with the highest proportion of people using a second address as a holiday home, relative to the local population.
  • A total of 36,370 people were using holiday homes in Wales, equivalent to 11.7 holiday home users for every 1,000 local residents.
  • As a proportion of the local housing supply (all dwellings excluding communal establishments), South Hams on the coast of Devon and Gwynedd in North Wales had the highest proportions of holiday homes. In some smaller areas, more than 1 in 10 addresses were being used as holiday homes.
  • And when adjusting for the local population, Gwynedd and the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales saw the highest proportions of holiday home users travelling to their areas.
  • Around 1 in every 100 Londoners (1.1%) said they used a second address as a holiday home.

The South West had the highest concentration of holiday homes compared with other English regions and Wales, at 7.5 for every 1,000 homes. You can see a map below:

Overall, there were seven areas where more than 1 in 10 homes were used as holiday homes.

These included:

  • Trebetherick and Whitecross (139.5 per 1,000 homes) and Padstow and St Issey (120.5 per 1,000) in Cornwall

Last year, the UK Government changed the law so that second homeowners would pay council tax on properties that are not genuine holiday lets. Second homeowners must now prove holiday lets are rented out for a minimum of 70 days a year, and are available to rent for at least 140 days. Of the 93,650 Londoners who used second addresses as holiday homes, almost a quarter travelled within the South of England, with 14.4% going to the South East, and 10.0% to the South West.

1 in every 100 Londoners use a holiday home.