More than a quarter struggle to afford a home in Norfolk, survey shows

The picturesque harbour at Wells-next-the-Sea, with boats basking in beautiful sunshine. Picture: DE

Parts of north Norfolk now have some of the highest proportion of holiday homes in Britain - Credit: Denise Bradley

More than a quarter of would-be property buyers are struggling to afford a home in Norfolk, while the same number say unaffordable prices have driven them from the community they grew up in.

The figures were revealed by some of the first responses to an EDP survey giving people the chance to have their say over the booming number of second homes in the county.

Some 28pc said they were struggling to buy a home while the same number said they had been forced to move from the village they grew up in.

One explained: "It is now almost impossible to comfortably raise a family in the village we both grew up in (in, for example, a four-bed house with a garage) with anything less than a household income of £150,000."

One question asked how a balance might be struck between the growing number of second homes and holiday lets and the needs of local people.

One respondent said: "Give priority to local housing for local people."

Another added: "Nobody should have a seasonal-use second home when young people struggle to even rent in the place they grew up."

Others thought the free market economy should be left to its own devices.

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"We live in a free market economy," said one respondent. "Most second homes (such as seaside flats) are not suited to young families anyway."

Some 80pc of people who have so far taken part thought second home owners should pay a levy on top of their council tax to help fund affordable homes for locals.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that north Norfolk has the highest number of second homes outside London.

One respondent said: "There should be a maximum percentage of properties within any given village, parish etc that can be second homes (no more than 20pc) and any new builds must be first homes. If it goes above this then businesses begin to suffer anyway as there are not enough people to sustain business year round."

The survey can be completed below: