Plan to curb second homes demand &#39won&#39t work&#39

Mortgage brokers say that government plans to curb demand for second homes will not work, writes Harriet Williams.

Forthcoming legislation will see council tax discounts on second homes fall from 50% to 10%. The move is designed to take the pressure off people being priced out of their communities by demand for second homes in areas like Cornwall and the national parks.

Local government minister Nick Raynsford says: “High demand for second homes may affect property prices, forcing local people to look for housing elsewhere.”

The changes will raise an estimated £65m for councils, some of which will be invested in affordable housing.

But brokers say a larger council tax bill is unlikely to put wealthy home owners off buying a second property.

Tim Stone, senior mortgage consultant at Bristol-based Andews Mortgage Services, says: “If you can afford a second home, reducing council tax discounts is neither here nor there.”