Second Home Ownership Crisis Affecting Southern England

Rural areas of the south, south west and east of England have an alarming number of second-owned homes, according to a study by the National Housing Federation.

The study, Home Truths 2016/17, found that places in the likes of North Norfolk, West Somerset, South Devon and West Sussex saw high numbers of second home ownership. This distorts the respective housing market and pushes up house prices – making it impossible for local people to buy a home in their own community and expensive for them to rent.

Hastoe Housing Association is a leading provider of affordable homes in rural areas and has many housing developments in rural communities. With emphasis on providing sustainable housing in sustainable communities, Hastoe is dedicated to tackling the ever increasing housing problem in rural areas.

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive at Hastoe said: “These figures, whilst disappointing, are not a surprise. The number of second homes in this country is staggering. The housing market, particularly in rural areas, is often severely distorted by second home ownership, holiday lets, expensive housing and the high cost of living. It greatly affects communities and results in young families moving out in considerable numbers.

“At Hastoe, we strive to support rural communities by working with them to provide affordable housing for local people. The homes we build are held for the local community in perpetuity, decreasing the chance of second home ownership in areas that don’t require it and instead allow locals to live where they grew up, form a family and not be priced out of their community.”

“High levels of second home ownership make it harder for people buy a home that they can afford. While the recent announcement of Government funding to support communities affected by second home ownership is welcome, it is important that areas such as North Norfolk, West Somerset, West Sussex and South Devon look to build more affordable housing – to rent as well as to buy – to provide a chance for small communities to continue to thrive and be together."


  • Hastoe Group is the leading rural affordable housing specialist and operates on a not-for-profit basis, with four subsidiaries (Hastoe Homes, Sustainable Homes, Hastoe Wyvern and Hastoe Capital plc). Hastoe owns and manages over 7,000 homes in southern England for affordable housing through letting and shared ownership. Half of these homes are in rural areas. Hastoe works closely with its residents to ensure it provides sustainable homes in sustainable communities. Further information can be found at:

    • We deliver homes that people can afford

    • We invest in people and communities

    • We are in it for the long-term.

  • Responding to the problem of second homes, in December 2016, the Government announced a new annual £60million fund – The Community Housing Fund – to help 150 local authorities in rural and coastal areas deliver affordable housing aimed at first-time buyers.

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