One in five Herts properties bought as second homes or buy-to-lets
- Credit: Archant
A fifth of residential properties bought last year in Hertfordshire were purchased as second homes or properties to rent out, figures show.
Around 4,050 (20 per cent) were bought in the financial year 2017-18, with a combined value of £1.889 billion.
Approximately 500 (21 per cent) were sold in St Albans, with a combined value of £301 million, while about 420 (22 per cent) were sold in Welwyn Hatfield, worth £187 million.
Second home buyers were undeterred by the extra 3 per cent stamp duty charge on additional properties, introduced in April 2016 as part of a government effort to deter buy-to-let landlords, property investors and second home owners.
The Herts total was up 13 per cent on 2016-17, when around 3,600 second homes were purchased.
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The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said it was concerned about the impact that buying extra properties has on local communities.
Policy leader Will Jeffwitz said: “In any community, if more homes are bought up as second homes then there are fewer available for residents - and the houses left are more unaffordable.
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“If families and young people are priced out of their local communities it can have a hugely demanding impact on community life - with village shops, schools and pubs closing in alarming numbers as a result.”
He added: “Our solution is that there should be a renewed focus on building more affordable housing, which reduces the impact of a high ownership of second homes.”
In total, around £307 million was collected from stamp duty in Hertfordshire last year.
HMRC figures say that duty on additional dwellings made up 37 per cent of that amount.