Second homes spend booms

Britons are now spending a whopping 6bn on second homes, 4bn more than two years ago, according to a report from the Office of National Statistics.

In 2002, each of the country’s 24 million households was spending 1.50 on second homes, when averaged out. But this spending has surged to 4.80 per household for 2004/05.

The figures, calculated from an ONS survey, include homes bought abroad as well as buy-to-let investments and holiday homes in this country. They reveal a clear trend toward British people owning more than one property.

The ONS figures also show that consumers are spending more money on home improvements but less on home maintenance. In 2002 households spent an average 18.90 on home maintenance, rising to 22.80 the following year. Now, that figure is 23.70.

Jeff Knight, head of marketing services at GMAC-RFC, says: “With the average spend on second homes rising to 4.80 from 1.50 in 2002 it is clear that owning a second property is more popular than ever. This could be in the form of a holiday home or in the nature of an investment as people get into the buy-to-let scene.

“Despite what some commentators would have us believe the demand for buy-to-let properties will continue to boom which is great news for lenders and intermediaries.

“People are continuing to invest in buy-to-let properties for many reasons – for example to supplement their retirement plans – and the number of reasons to invest is growing. With the changes to SIPPs in 2006 we expect further growth.”