New census data reveals the 15 areas of Northumberland with the most holiday homes
But housing campaigners have warned that the latest government figures on holiday and second home ownership do not reveal the true scale of the problem and that the issue could be 10 times worse once short-term lets are factored in.
Around 70,000 second addresses were used as holiday homes in England and Wales, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). These holiday homes were found to be mainly concentrated in picturesque coastal areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The figures are sourced from the 2021 census, which counts the number of dwellings used as a second address for at least 30 days a year by those living in England and Wales.
Chris Bailey, national campaign manager at Action on Empty Homes, said: “The latest ONS work on holiday homes might seem shocking but I’m afraid the bad news is that it is just the tip of an iceberg of homes sucked out of use.
“The issue could easily be ten times as serious across the country as the latest ONS figures suggest. We really need the Government to introduce a proper licensing scheme so that we can assess the real impact.”
The government said it was taking action on the issue and had already introduced higher rates of stamp duty for second properties.
Here are the areas of Northumberland with the most holiday homes (figures are rounded to the nearest 5 and any figure less than 10 not published).