Housing price rises in tourist hotspots reflect shift in preferences

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Rising house buying and rental costs in tourist hotspots mean that workers are being priced out of living locally. This, in turn, is contributing to skill shortages in the tourism and hospitality industries upon which these local economies rely, the Office for National Statistics has concluded.

Despite falling from a record high in June, the average UK house price increased by 8 per cent in the year to July 2021, said ONS. But house prices were rising at three times the national rate in some rural and coastal areas July, such as Conwy in North Wales (25.0 per cent), North Devon (22.5 per cent) and Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales (21.4 per cent).

Price rises reflected a shift in consumer preferences with growth being driven by rural and coastal areas, said ONS. Prospective home buyers are seeking more space, with prices for detached houses (9.0 per cent growth in July) consistently rising faster than terraced houses (7.7 per cent) or flats (6.1 per cent), it said.

‘As a result, people living in rural and coastal areas – particularly the young and those on lower incomes – are at risk of being priced out of the market’.

  • Demand coming from house buyers searching for more space and changed lifestyles ‘has further to run’, the property portal Zoopla has concluded.

    Its latest UK House Price Index put the August annual rate of house price growth at 6.1 per cent, with ‘no sign of a cliff-edge in demand after the ending of the tapered stamp duty holiday’.