Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said his party was considering ways of making rural second homes less desirable – in order to prevent locals from being priced out of the housing market. The comments were made at Mr Clegg’s monthly press conference.
Speaking in The Telegraph, a senior member of the Lib Dems also said council tax surcharges were being considered by the party, with solid plans to be outlined soon.
In 2011 the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition moved to make buying a second home less attractive by disallowing councils from giving discounts on second properties – which could amount to a 50% reduction.
According to The Telegraph report, Lib Dem councillors are also seeking a second home tax premium in order to control rural property prices.
At his monthly press conference, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that he did not want people to stop investing in rural areas, and was not in favour of stopping people from buying second homes. But he talked of “whole communities being filleted, gutted, with just no prospect of local youngsters finding a home they can call their own.”
As many of our holiday home insurance customers are aware, the issue of housing is a big one – particularly in rural areas where property prices are higher. But they might take solace from Mr Clegg’s assertion that more homes need to be built – which might in the long run reduce pressure and costs on those with second properties.
Whether such a policy change might affect properties before the election was unclear, although it seems more likely to appear in the Lib Dem’s 2015 manifesto.