Map shows UK ‘ghost towns’ where wealthy homeowners bought most second homes

Holiday home owners are accused of price fixing locals who are unable to buy or rent properties in the area they grew up in as prices soar

A warning on a wall in Cornwall shows the level of unease about second homes

The top 20 UK coastal areas turning into ghost towns have been revealed in a new map showing where the most second homes are.

Locals say wealthy landlords are imposing prices on people who can’t buy or rent properties in the area where they grew up.

Salcombe in Devon is in first place, followed by Falmouth in Cornwall in second and North Berwick in Scotland in third.

Cornwall’s St Ives, Newquay, Padstow and Bude are all included on the list, respected by Rightmove.

Rising property prices in Cornwall have angered locals who are unable to access the property ladder and some have even started targeting what they believe to be empty properties with graffiti.

A wall in the village of St Agnes bore the message: “Secondary home owners give something back:

“Rent or sell your empty houses to locals at a fair price.”

Jasmin Or, 24, grew up in beauty spot St Ives where she says everything has been turned into a holiday home, leaving tenants with little choice.

Cornwall Council said there was “an imbalance between supply and demand” the county had never seen before, with landlords and businesses acquiring properties and converting them into summer homes.

Residents feel evicted


Jory Mundy / SWNS)

Jasmin says she is struggling to find a new place to rent when her lease expires on May 10 and said “there are no more houses”.

The hotel worker has exhausted rental agents and spare room sites, and fears that in three weeks she will be sleeping rough.

She told the Mirror: “I wonder if this place will look as good to me when I’m sleeping on a bench in three weeks.

“Everything has been turned into second homes now and that’s the problem.

“These are all Air BnBs and a lot of locals have been kicked out of their homes to spend the summer.”

St Ives MP Derek Thomas said in December around 100 families were vying for every three-bedroom house available in parts of Cornwall.

The seafront at Salcombe


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The housing problem accelerated during the pandemic when “staycations” exploded.

In Whitby, Yorkshire, which is ninth on the list, frustrated people have voted to try and drive out second home owners – as they drive up house prices.

A local referendum saw Whitby residents vote overwhelmingly to ban the sale of new homes and land to people who would not live there full time.

Residents of the North Yorkshire town say the wealthy south makes it unaffordable and the sense of community is shattered.

Nearly 20% of homes are second homes or vacation rentals, more than double the proportion 20 years ago.

House prices have ballooned to an average of £254,218 over the past year as locals say they are overpriced.

Padstown Harbor


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The average salary in the city is £18,900.

This means that young people growing up in Whitby have been forced to relocate as property prices have risen by 20% in just one year.

Monday’s poll, which was called following a town meeting last month, reflects growing anger at homes that sit empty for much of the year.

However, Scarborough Council said the result is ‘no more and no less than an expression of the views of the electorate in the parish who voted on the ballot, and is not binding on any organisation’.

Whitby Community Network said the results “clearly demonstrate the strength of sentiment in the local community”.

He said in a statement: “We hope our elected councilors will take notice and act.”

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