The number of renters letting second homes has hit a new peak, according to new research.
The market for renters leasing pieds-a-terre near work or homes near the sea or in the country for leisure hardly existed a decade ago.
Now almost 14,000 properties are rented as second homes at an average of £1,060 a month – a cost that is 25% higher than the average rent for a main home.
The highest number of properties let as second homes is in London, says the study from The Hamptons International Lettings Index, followed by South West England and Scotland.
Aneisha Beveridge, analyst at Hamptons International, said: “The number of people renting second homes has reached a record high. The additional stamp duty surcharge on second home purchases introduced in April 2016, increased upfront costs for buyers and resulted in more people deciding to rent a second home rather than buy.
“The places second home renters are choosing include a mix of town and country. Second home rental hotspots reflect today’s lifestyle choices from the pieds-a-terre in towns and cities, close to work, schools and all the amenities that city life has to offer, to rural and coastal locations perfect for escaping the trappings of a busy urban life.
“Average rents rose in seven out of eight regions in May on the back of fewer homes being available to rent than last year. Rents in the North fell for the second consecutive month, meanwhile, rental growth remained strong in Wales, the East and the Midlands.”
The top areas for second home rentals are the local authorities of Windsor & Maidenhead, where 14% of properties are second homes.
Gloucester takes the next place, where second renters let 11% of homes, while nearby Tewkesbury is third with 6% of homes let by second renters.
Source: Hamptons International