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The vibrant UK property market has put some workers at risk of moving out of rural and coastal areas, contributing to skills shortages in the tourism and hospitality sectors on which depend their local economies.
Prices in July tripled the national rate by 8 percent in some rural and coastal areas. Conwy in North Wales recorded an annual rate of 25 percent, North Devon 22.5 percent and Richmondshire in the Yorkshire Dales rose 21 percent, continuing a trend during the Covid-crisis 19, the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday.
The pandemic “has fueled the popularity of coastal homes and house prices are rising faster than a spring tide,” said Kate Allen, owner of Devon-based luxury vacation rental specialist Salcombe Finest.
“Since the local salary is lower than the national average, but house prices are among the highest in the country, the housing market is out of reach for most local first-time buyers and families who seek to grow, which destabilizes communities, ”she said. added.
In contrast, the seven areas that saw declines in the same month were all London boroughs, reflecting a shift in consumer preferences towards larger properties in less crowded locations as more people work from home in the city. least part of the time during the Covid-19 emergency. .
“People living in rural and coastal areas, especially young people and low-income people, are at risk of being excluded from the housing market,” the ONS said.
Various locations have shown a similar divergence in the growth of house prices between London and other tourist hot spots. Eden, Powys and Derbyshire Dales, which have a high number of tourism businesses relative to their population, have all seen price hikes of 10% or more each month this year.
The City of London, City of Westminster and Camden, which are also considered tourist hotspots, are the only areas where prices have fallen for those seven consecutive months.
The ONS noted that this could contribute to hotel companies not being able to fill vacancies, as the industry predominates in tourist areas and contains a high proportion of young people and low-paid workers.
The median hospitality wage for a full-time employee is 28% lower than the national average, making it difficult to buy properties when prices rise.
A third of those under 30, who are more likely to work in the hospitality industry, reported at least some difficulty making ends meet in the year to March, the highest percentage of all age groups.
“This has implications for industries on which tourism economies are built, such as the hospitality industry which is experiencing record levels of vacancies,” the ONS said.
At the end of August, nearly a third of hotel companies found vacancies difficult to fill, while workers were refused purchase or rental near their work.