Welsh Government restrictions on second homes will hurt estate agents, a property trade association has said.
Propertymark said plans to allow local authorities to more firmly regulate the buying and selling of second homes would add complexity to the buying and selling process, meaning potential delays and costs for sellers. and officers.
The proposals would require pre-purchase planning applications to change a property’s use to a second home, which could slow down the process of transferring ownership and cause some sales to fail, they said.
Daryl McIntosh, Head of Policy and Campaigns for Propertymark, said: “Firstly, we do not believe that the use of a dwelling as a second home for private use constitutes development.
“Second, there is simply not enough evidence that an additional layer of bureaucracy will have anything more than a negligible impact on the issues raised by second home ownership.
“Buyers of additional homes are already subject to the higher rate of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) and councils have the power to charge up to 100% premium on council tax, but the majority choose to not to and we need to understand why.”
They also feared moves to Wales could lead to parts of England, such as the Lake District and Cornwall, being allowed to follow suit.
The Welsh Government’s proposals would create new use classes for second homes and short term rentals which would allow local planning authorities to manage their development.
Homes would be designated as primary residences, secondary residences and short-term vacation rentals, and the number of secondary residences and short-term vacation rentals should be considered when considering housing needs and policy approaches in local development plans.
The Welsh Government’s consultation on the matter ended on Friday.
On Saturday, 1,200 people staged a rally in Aberystwyth to call on the Welsh government to act more decisively on second homes and the housing crisis.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith, who organized the protest, said he recognized the plans set out in the consultation addressed some of their concerns, but also called for a property law that would provide housing for everyone and strengthen communities and the Welsh language in all parts of the country.
“Following pressure from people across Wales, the government has launched two consultations, one on the creation of a new class of use and the other on the housing plan for Welsh-speaking communities in the government,” said Mabli Siriol Jones, chairman of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.
“The pressure had an effect, and the intention today is to keep the pressure on. We need effective property law that will take the housing and planning system out of the free market and put it under the democratic control of our communities.
“We organized the rally today, on the 60th anniversary of the broadcast of Tynged yr Iaith, a conference which inspired the founding of Cymdeithas yr Iaith later that year. We have won several campaigns since then , thanks to the work of ordinary people, and we are confident that we will win this fight as well.”
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