More and more Bedford residents own holiday homes

Figures also show average age of those staying in holiday homes is 73
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More people in Bedford have a second address as a holiday home than they did in 2011.

As part of the 2021 census, the Office for National Statistics has revealed which areas in the UK have the most holiday home owners.

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The ONS says there has been a 4.7% increase across England and Wales in the number of people staying at a second, holiday home address for more than 30 days a year, rising from 426,000 to 447,000.

The figures – from the 2021 census – show there were 1,323 people from Bedford staying at holiday homes – up from 1,193 in 2011.

This means 0.8% of the area's 157,479 residents regularly stayed at a holiday home as of 2021.

As staycations become more popular, so too has the number of people with holiday hideaways in other parts of the UK – 189,000 did so as of 2021, up from 155,000 a decade prior.

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The rising number of second homes in holiday hotspots has seen some local authorities take measures to curb the squeeze on the housing supply for residents, such as reforming council tax.

Earlier this month the Government announced new rules for short-term lets.

Unveiling the plans, secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove said: "Tourism brings many benefits to our economy but in too many communities we have seen local people pushed out of cherished towns, cities and villages by huge numbers of short-term lets."

"I’m determined that we ensure that more people have access to local homes at affordable prices, and that we prioritise families desperate to rent or buy a home of their own close to where they work," he added.

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Meanwhile, the figures show Spain has retained the top spot for those with a holiday home abroad – with 66,000 homes.

On the other hand, France has seen its popularity drop, falling from 62,000 to 51,000 – although it was the second most popular choice in 2021.

The figures also show the demographics of holiday home owners have shifted over this period.

The ONS said the peak age of people staying in holiday homes has increased, from 64 years old in 2011 to 73 years old in 2021, which it said likely reflects the growing size of this generation.