The England and Wales areas with the most second and empty homes include Cornwall and Birmingham

Cornwall, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Westminster were all areas with a high number of vacant second homes

St Ives in Cornwall, England (Getty)St Ives in Cornwall, England (Getty)
St Ives in Cornwall, England (Getty)

Data has revealed the southwest as the area in England and Wales with the highest percentage of homes that were second properties with no usual residents. According to the data from the Office for National Statistics, the highest number of second homes with no usual residents was in Cornwall.

Areas in Cornwall totalled the most vacant homes at 23,630. The data also showed Cornwall to have 11,490 second homes.

Many of these properties are likely used as holiday homes, short-term lets, or as another address when working away from home. Second homes with no usual residents were most likely to be flats, maisonettes or apartments in England and detached houses or bungalows in Wales. The data - compiled in 2021 - also highlighted Birmingham, Liverpool, and Westminster in London as areas where there were a high number of vacant properties.

An analysis of the data on the ONS website reads: "Of the 1,507,100 unoccupied dwellings in England in 2021, it is estimated that 89.7% were truly vacant and 10.3% were second homes. There were 120,450 unoccupied dwellings in Wales in 2021, of which 85.4% were truly vacant and 14.6% were second homes.

"Out of all English regions and Wales, the West Midlands had the highest percentage of unoccupied dwellings that were truly vacant (95.4%), although this region had the lowest percentage of unoccupied dwellings overall (4.8% of all dwellings).

"The South West had the highest percentage of unoccupied dwellings that were used as second homes (18.1%). London had the highest percentage of unoccupied dwellings (8.0% of all dwellings) of English regions; 91.6% of these were vacant and 8.4% were second homes with no usual residents." Stringent methods were used to characterise whether the homes were truly vacant or if they had no usual residents. This included looking at whether it was occupied when the 2021 Census took place, whether a housing association provided information on it being vacant, and if a field visit to the property indicated it was vacant or not.

And properties in Cornwall, where the average property price is around £365,000 (around £80,000 higher than the UK), have been in the press recently as some owned by celebrities are causing issues with the local community.

For example, Cate Blanchett - who also owns a property under development in Sussex - has reportedly been angering her neighbours as works on an eco-home cottage continue. This followed the demolition of a traditional home on the same land in Mawgan Porth - a small Cornish village.

Other celebrities like Jason Momoa and Chris Martin also live in this area and their commitments elsewhere - in music, film, and beyond - mean they are unlikely to spend most of the year living in these homes.

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