The Welsh government’s plans to regulate the buying and selling of second homes will harm its overall housing market, Propertymark has warned its coalition government, and create extra costs for agents.
Propertymark’s comments are aimed both at the Welsh government but also the corridors of power in Whitehall – where English ministers have been mulling how to prevent many places in the Lake District and the SW of England becoming overrun with holiday homes.
Propertymark says the Welsh plans will add complexity to the buying and selling process, meaning potential delays and costs for sellers and agents.
This follows a consultation in Wales to consider introducing planning legislation and policy to manage second home ownership and short-term holiday lets.
Propertymark says the proposals will require pre-purchase planning applications to change a property’s use into a second home where Permitted Development Rights have been revoked under an Article 4 Direction.
Costs for agents
This will slow down the conveyancing process and lead to further delays and costs for sellers and agents, particularly if sales fall through because of increased timeframes.
Propertymark says there are other solutions available such as the application of council tax premiums, tightening of non-domestic rates exemptions and introduction of short-term let registration and licensing.
Daryl McIntosh (pictured), Policy and Campaigns Manager for Propertymark, says: “Firstly, we do not believe that use of a dwelling as a second home for private use constitutes development.
“Secondly, there is also just not enough evidence that an additional layer of bureaucracy will have anything other than a negligible impact on issues raised over second home ownership.
“Purchasers of additional homes are already subject to the higher rate of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and councils have powers to charge up to a 100 per cent premium on Council Tax, but the majority choose not to do so and we need to understand why.”