Tuesday, March 9 2004

Research into the second homes market by estate agents FPD Savills has found the sector worth £40 million pounds annually, with over 206,000 houses in Britain constituting second home purchases.

Unsurprisingly, the south west accounts for nearly a quarter of all second homes, while London is a close second thanks to the commuter market. Accessible rural locations are always sought-after choices, with the Lincolnshire coast proving popular, as well as Berwick Upon Tweed on the east coast.

Not only does the data reveal where the most popular hotspots are for second homes, but also where the areas of greatest growth are. The City in London, Tower Hamlets (where recent development has been rife), north Kesteven in Lincolnshire, Richmondshire in Yorkshire and East Northamptonshire are the five most rapidly growing areas for second home purchase, Savills found.

Head of Savills’ Residential Research Richard Donnell, said: ‘The second homes market is split in two between the holiday homes market – likely to be rural and coastal – and the pied a terre market appealing to commuters and those wanting a second home in the city centre.’

As to the growth in popularity of certain areas, he commented: ‘It is important to note that the supply of second homes on the Lincolnshire coast is still small but it has expanded off a low base in recent years.

‘Similarly, many of the other areas that have recently experienced rapid growth also offer affordable stock in accessible rural locations.’

But there are also many areas which Mr Donnell expects to grow in the future: ‘There still are many areas of Leicstershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire, within two hours drive of London, that remain largely undiscovered and which are likely to attract those who cannot afford the increasingly expensive South West or Suffolk coasts.’