£800,000,000 This was the amount injected into the local economy through letting of holiday homes to self catering holiday makers in Devon and Cornwall in 2012. This figure does not take into account the employment and tax revenue this also generates. Tourism is an very important employer in the South West and with the ‘season’ getting longer, many traditional seasonal jobs are becoming permanent.
Cornwall – there are 19 second homes per 1,000 usual residents
Most of Devon – there are 3-14 second homes per 1,000 residents
South Hams is the highest at 45 second homes per 1,000 residents
Although many people, quite rightly, complain of no light’s in Salcombe in the winter, or deserted streets in Padstow, in reality these seaside towns are only a small proportion of the South West’s towns and villages and the problem is nowhere near as bad as many reports and headline grabbing politicians would have you believe.
According to the 2011 census there are 2.7 million people employed in the tourism industry in the UK (about 9.5% of total employed people) with 260,000 employed in the South West.
In Cornwall alone, the proportion of people employed in the tourism sector is 14.9% and in Torbay South Devon this rises to 16.7%.
When researching the information for this release we talked to holiday letting agents like Pure Cornwall www.purecornwall.co.uk, specialists in 4* and 5* self catering holiday properties. Since opening 5 years ago they have employed 8 local people. They went on to say that they use local contractors, plumbers and carpenters who are now busy all year round, doing running repairs in the summer and maintenance, refurbishments in the winter. They also use local suppliers for food hampers, surf lessons and classic car hire who in turn also gain.
This research was carried out by leading self catering letting agent Blue Chip Holidays (www.bluechipholidays.co.uk) who specialise in the South West and their findings were very positive.
In 2012, the amount spent by an average family staying in self catering accommodation in the local community was £683 per family per week.
The main components broke down to;
Ice cream, toys, clothes etc £100
Events ie. Theme parks. Concerts etc £135
Food and Drink outside holiday homes £179
Food and Drink in holiday home (spent locally) £217
There are no confirmed figures but we have estimated that there are approximately 50,000 second homes in Devon and Cornwall which are available to be let out on a self catering holiday basis most of the year. We have deduced this from the Government Census which looks at Council Tax records. This does not include holiday restricted second homes, such as lodges, as they are not liable for Council Tax. (The owners on average occupy them on average 3 weeks a year.)
From talking to various holiday letting agents the average letting period for a property (2/3 bed house/flat) is 20 weeks per annum (some in the better locations can let for more than 30 weeks, the example opposite let for more than 40 weeks)
Taking into account peak rents and short breaks the average rent could be approx £12,000 per annum. (based on 20 weeks)
Average management and letting fees charged by local letting agents are 25% (£150/week)
So in view of the amount of second homes that are rented by self caterers and including their spend per week this equates to approx. £800,000,000 that is injected into the local economies of Devon and Cornwall. These figures do not include maintenance and refurbishment, employment created by these properties, business rates paid by the businesses who support this industry and taxes paid by the letting agents etc.
Miles Kevin MRICS from Chartsedge said…’ Personally I am not in favour of the few people who own second homes in the South West and only use them for a couple of weeks a year, leaving them empty for the rest of the time. This does not help the local economy, is not good for the property and can in a few areas, create ‘dead spots’ where there is no life at some times of the year. As the season gets longer, some of our clients have reported 40 weeks letting a year, this surely means that holiday let properties really help local business’ throughout the year. I feel that holiday homes should be regarded as a valuable business that should be encouraged rather than vilified’.
Thank you’s to:
Ewan Davy at Blue Chip Holidays www.bluechipholidays.co.uk
Hazel Elliot at Pure Cornwall www.purecornwall.co.uk
Government Census 2011
Visit Cornwall www.visitcornwall.com