Second home owners ruined our seaside town… I work 80hr week & live with parents as house prices have TRIPLED in a year | The Sun

WITH its sandy, sickle-shaped shoreline and sprawling clifftop golf course, Nefyn on the north Wales coast is a dream place to live.

Unfortunately for most young locals nowadays, a dream is all it will ever be.

An army of second home owners has sent property prices rocketing way above anything people born and bred in the picture-postcard seaside town could ever afford.

Over the past 12 months, the cost of property in Nefyn has nearly tripled.

And renting? Forget it. Many second home owners have taken their properties off the rental market to chase the more lucrative Airbnb customers.

An online search last week revealed just NINE properties for rent within a 10-mile radius of Nefyn.


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Morgan Jones, who was born and bred in the town, told The Sun how, at the age of 30, he’s forced to live with his parents because he cannot find a property to rent.

Despite working up to 80 hours a week running his own bistro bar in nearby Pwllheli, sky-high prices prevent him from buying a house in his home town.

“I’m desperate to own my own home but it is simply unaffordable,” he said. 

“I can’t rent a place of my own either because there just aren’t any available. 

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Many second home owners have taken their properties off the rental market to chase the more lucrative Airbnb customersCredit:©2023

“The few that come onto the rental market are snapped up immediately. I looked online and there were just a handful, but most of those were about 20 miles away.

“Something has to change in the housing market or there’ll be no locals able to live here.

“I really want to stay here because I love the area, but unless the bistro becomes super successful, which I hope it will, I’ll have to move away.”

The dearth of available homes – for rent or purchase – at prices locals can afford is driving many away from their home town in search of places they can afford.

I’m desperate to own my own home but it is simply unaffordable… Something has to change in the housing market or there’ll be no locals able to live here

This exodus is turning Nefyn into a ghost town for most of the year. 

Over the long winter months many of the homes stand empty, and hospitality businesses have become increasingly seasonal.

Despite this property prices show little sign of flagging. 

Research compiled by Rightmove in February this year revealed Nefyn had seen values rise by a staggering 175 per cent in the previous 12 months. 

The average price of a property in Nefyn now stands at £576,333 – way beyond what most local young people, or indeed those of any age, can afford.

'So unfair'

Local resident Cerys, 24, earns £15 an hour pulling pints behind the bar at a pub in the town and says she has “no chance” of owning her home.

“I’ll never be able to save enough for a deposit and, even if I could, I won’t get a big enough mortgage to buy anything around here,” she says.

“Second home owners have sent prices spiralling upwards out of local people’s reach, but we’re the lifeblood of the town.

“If everyone like me leaves Nefyn in search of affordable housing, who’s going to serve these second home owners and Airbnb-ers their beer?

“It’s just so unfair. I’ve lived here all my life but I’ll probably have to move away soon because I want my own house or flat, instead of living with my parents like I have to now.”


Chris, 32, faces a similar dilemma. The van driver, who has two young sons, said: “It breaks my heart that I can’t buy a home for my family, even though I earn decent money. 

“A few years ago my wages would have enabled me to buy around here, but now there’s no prospect of that.

“We managed to find somewhere to rent because we knew a friend of the landlord, and I know I should be grateful for that, but it doesn’t compare with owning your own place.

“Wealthy opportunists have come into Nefyn and pushed the housing market out of the reach of local people like me. It makes my blood boil.”

Wealthy opportunists have come into Nefyn and pushed the housing market out of the reach of local people like me. It makes my blood boil

Estate agent boss Melfyn Williams, who co-owns the chain Williams & Goodwin, noted the increase in the number of properties being used for Airbnb in recent years.

“Nefyn, like many small villages and towns in beautiful areas, has seen an increase in popularity and in turn prices in the last few years,” he said.

“Rapid price growth in any area, particularly in a short period of time, makes home buying more difficult for anyone not already on the property ladder, as the entry level to purchase increases.

“It can become both frustrating and disappointing, particularly for the younger generation who wish to remain in the locality where they have been raised when the area perhaps does not have sufficient local economic activity to provide well paid employment to assist and enable young people to buy at higher prices.”


But Mr Williams offered a glimmer of hope for locals in the coming months. 

“Whilst there has been a surge in growth in a short period of time, following lockdown and the Covid pandemic, in recent months there has been a noticeable cooling in the property market which should in turn ease the pressure on prices,” he said.

Mr Williams added that the holiday home market may also cool as travellers return to oversea options.

“Time will tell,” he said. “It is also noted that the Welsh Assembly are exploring ideas to curb the popularity of second home purchases.

“Growing house prices is a world wide dilemma, echoed in many areas of the UK and in particular beauty spots.

“All these local areas have similar concerns about the local community and wanting to keep it vibrant whilst in Wales.

“We naturally have the added concern for any impact there may be on the Welsh language.

“First time buyers are an important part of the home buying process – they are the future of local communities, of business and life.”

In an interview with a local paper following the release of the Rightmove data three months ago, Mr Williams’ partner Tim Goodwin was even more forthright on the subject of second home ownership.

He said: “I believe there is a strong possibility of a new housing crisis five years from now because of the lack of new social homes being built, and because of current property policies.”

He cited new council powers to tax second homes and its effect on locals who inherit family property.

“Owners of inherited family properties might like to move into them but often can’t do so immediately and, being classed as second homes, the council taxes are too punitive in the interim,” said Mr Goodwin. 

“The only alternative for people in this position is to sell their parents’ homes.

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“Often these are people who were raised here and moved away to find work. When they are left the family property, they want to return home, perhaps when they retire in 18 months’ time. 

“But they can’t because of the premium. These are not second homes but their owners are still being penalised.”

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