Highest number of second homes outside London are in north Norfolk

A view over the rooftop's of Sheringham from Beeston Bump. Weybourne and Salthouse can be seen in th

A view of Sheringham from Beeston Bump. Across North Norfolk, one in ten homes are - Credit: Archant

The largest number of second homes anywhere in England and Wales outside of London is found in north Norfolk, it has been revealed.

The leader of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has said the numbers of second homes in his district are "out of control", as new figures revealed that one in every ten houses are second homes.

In some of the most sought-after coastal spots, the figure climbs much higher. 

In figures from NNDC, it was revealed that in Salthouse, 79 out of the village’s 157 homes - 50.3pc - is a second home or holiday home. In Morston, the figure is 47.7pc and in Blakeney, 43.3pc.

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

Tim Adams, Liberal Democrat leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “We’ve obviously got significant pressures on housing, a lot of people on our housing lists, who are desperate to get into a home of their own… so we’ve got that significant impact.”

Tim Adams (Liberal Democrats) is standing for Cromer division.

North Norfolk District Council's Liberal Democrat leader Tim Adams - Credit: Supplied by the Liberal Democrat

Mr Adams said the council was considering introducing a Cumbria-style model of voluntary contributions from second home-owners to help fund community projects.

Another option would be a system like in St Ives, Cornwall, where new-builds are restricted so they can’t be used as second homes, but Mr Adams warned this could backfire, because it has led in St Ives to the price of the existing housing stock inflating. 

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Meanwhile in Wales, the limit on council tax premiums for second homes has been increased by 300pc.

“I think we’re going to need to look at these options very seriously, because it’s out of control,” said Mr Adams. 

“The flipside is there are positive impacts of having second homes on the local economy… lots of the homes are used throughout the year as tourist accommodation, so there’s a balance.”

He added that he would welcome more powers from government to better control the numbers.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker said: “Ever since I’ve been in parliament, I’ve been campaigning for something to be done about the disproportionate number of second homes that we get in our coastal areas.” 

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker

Conservative MP for North Norfolk, Duncan Baker - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

The Conservative MP said an additional levy on the council tax payable by those second homes would help tackle the problem - and conversations with housing secretary Michael Gove to empower authorities to introduce such systems were “ongoing”.

“You could do it down to a granular level, based on the district council designating what tax would be charged in which parish,” he said.

The MP said he also wanted more homes ringfenced for local people and closer monitoring of developers, to ensure they provide all of the infrastructure they promise to create alongside their housing.

Where does Norfolk rank among second home hotspots?

Three of the top 20 local authorities in England and Wales for second homes are found in Norfolk, according to ONS figures.

In third place nationally is North Norfolk with 9.8pc of its housing stock estimated to be second homes. Only the City of London (27.6pc) and Kensington and Chelsea (10.5pc) rank higher. 

In 17th place is Great Yarmouth on 4.8pc, with West Norfolk in 18th place on 4.7pc. 

Lower down the table are Norwich (1.2pc), South Norfolk (1.2pc), Breckland (0.7pc) and Broadland (0.7pc).

Taking a regional view of the concentration of second homes, the South West of England has the highest overall number - roughly 99,000 - compared with the East’s 35,000. At the other end of the scale is the East Midlands, where just 16,000 second homes. 

In terms of the households who own second homes, 170,000 of them are in London while the figure in the East is just 81,000. In last place is the North East, with just 26,000 second home-owning households.