William Eichler 02 March 2022

Welsh council tax premiums on second homes increased to 300%

Welsh council tax premiums on second homes increased to 300% image
Image: David Calvert / Shutterstock.com.

The maximum level at which local authorities can set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties in Wales will be increased to 300%, the Welsh government has confirmed.

Premiums in Wales are currently set at a maximum level of 100% and were paid on more than 23,000 properties this year.

The three-fold increase is aimed at preventing people who have grown up in popular destinations in Wales from being priced out of their local area.

‘These changes will give more flexibility to local authorities and provide more support to local communities in addressing the negative impacts that second homes and long-term empty properties can have. They are some of the levers we have available to us as we seek to create a fairer system,’ said Rebecca Evans, minister for finance and local government.

‘We will continue to make every effort to increase the supply and availability of houses, as shown by the £1bn of funding to build 20,000 low carbon social homes, contained in the budget I published at the end of last year.’

Last summer the Welsh government outlined a three-pronged approach to address the impact of second home ownership faced by Welsh communities.

Set out in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh government and Plaid Cymru, this seeks to address the affordability and availability of housing, amend the regulatory framework and system, and ensure second home-owners make a fair and effective contribution to the communities in which they buy.

Designated member Sian Gwenllian MS said: ‘It is clear that we as a country are facing a housing crisis. So many people cannot afford to live in their local areas, and the situation has worsened during the pandemic.

‘These changes will make a difference, enabling councils to respond to their local circumstances, and start to close the loophole in the current law. It's a first, but important, step on a journey towards a new housing system that ensures that people have the right to live in their community.

‘Through the Co-operation Agreement, we are committed to introducing a package of measures to tackle the injustices in the housing market. Today's announcement is just one part of that wider package. Second homes are a symptom of a wider problem – a market that treats property, not as a home, but as a way of making a profit. By working across the parties in the Senedd, we will introduce more measures, as soon as we can, to make house prices and rents genuinely affordable for people.’

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