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Salcombe has topped the list for British city dwellers’ most sought-after second home town followed by Falmouth in Cornwall and North Berwick in East Lothian.

Second homes and holiday lets in the South West are the most popular, with Salcombe, Falmouth, St Ives, Brixham and Newquay all within the top six in demand, according to a study by Lakeshore Leisure Group.

Meanwhile, separate data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities also names the South West as the region with the most second homes, making up 27 per cent of the UK’s total.

The Government figures, which are the most recently available for second homes per area in the UK, place the South East second at 14 per cent, followed by London at 12 per cent and Yorkshire and Humber at 10 per cent.

It comes as house prices of £2million properties in rural areas rise by the fastest rate in a decade, with wealthy people in cities hunting for countryside retreats across the UK amid a staycation boom during the pandemic. 

A map showing the most sought-after second home towns for British city dwellers, with Salcombe, Falmouth, St Ives, Brixham and Newquay in the South West all within the top six in demand

A map showing the most sought-after second home towns for British city dwellers, with Salcombe, Falmouth, St Ives, Brixham and Newquay in the South West all within the top six in demand

Meanwhile, separate data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities also names the South West as the region with the most second homes, making up 27 per cent of the UK's total (pictured: Salcombe in Devon)

Meanwhile, separate data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities also names the South West as the region with the most second homes, making up 27 per cent of the UK’s total (pictured: Salcombe in Devon)

Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, Cornwall, which was named as the second most popular second home town for city dwellers. It comes as house prices of £2million properties in rural areas rise by the fastest rate in a decade

Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, Cornwall, which was named as the second most popular second home town for city dwellers. It comes as house prices of £2million properties in rural areas rise by the fastest rate in a decade 

In Scotland, North Berwick and Ullapool are the most popular locations for a rural dwelling, while Tenby is the only Welsh town in the top twenty second home towns.

Lakeshore Leisure Group said: ‘Whilst many of these towns thrive on a tourist economy, there are downsides to these increases in second home ownership – particularly for the locals. 

‘As these areas become more desirable for second home purchases, property prices rise and often locals are priced out of buying a permanent residence in their local area. 

‘Not only does this result in a property that is occupied often less than half the year, the towns become increasingly seasonal; overcrowded in the summer and holiday months, but quiet and lifeless during the off-season.’

The company compiled the data, released earlier this year, by looking at the combined Google search history of 101 urban cities for ‘second homes in [town name] and ‘holiday homes in [town name]’.

A total of 19,990 Google searches were made by city dwellers for Salcombe between April 2020 and August this year, while 12,370 were made for Falmouth and 12,140 for North Berwick. 

In Scotland, North Berwick (pictured above) and Ullapool are the most popular locations for a rural dwelling, while Tenby is the only Welsh town in the top twenty second home towns.

In Scotland, North Berwick (pictured above) and Ullapool are the most popular locations for a rural dwelling, while Tenby is the only Welsh town in the top twenty second home towns.

St Ives in Cornwall, which was named as the fourth most popular second home town for city dwellers. Separate data from the Government names the South West as the region with the most second homes, making up 27 per cent of the UK's total

St Ives in Cornwall, which was named as the fourth most popular second home town for city dwellers. Separate data from the Government names the South West as the region with the most second homes, making up 27 per cent of the UK’s total

In 2018-19, three per cent of households in the UK reported having a second home, with the proportion remaining unchanged from 2008-09, according to the Department for Levelling Up.

The most common reason for having a second home is for use as a holiday home or weekend cottage, while 35 per cent say they view it as a long-term investment or income and 16 per cent once used it as their previous home.

Overall, 57 per cent of second homes are located in the UK while 34 per cent are in Europe and nine per cent are in non-European countries, according to the latest figures.

In the government department’s English Housing Survey 2018-19, it said: ‘Since 2008-09 there has been an increase in the proportion of second homes in the UK and a corresponding decrease in European and non-European second homes.’

Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, which placed fifth for the most sought-after second home towns by city dwellers. In 2018-19, three per cent of households in the UK reported having a second home

Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, which placed fifth for the most sought-after second home towns by city dwellers. In 2018-19, three per cent of households in the UK reported having a second home

Brixham harbour in south Devon, pictured above. The small fishing town placed sixth for the most sought-after second home towns by city dwellers

Brixham harbour in south Devon, pictured above. The small fishing town placed sixth for the most sought-after second home towns by city dwellers

Meanwhile, it was revealed in September that ministers were preparing a triple clampdown on second homes amid warnings that they are squeezing the life out of holiday hotspots.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick planned a range of reforms that give councils powers to ban the creation of new second homes if they are deemed to be damaging to the local community.

They would be able to impose such bans without having to first hold and win a local referendum on the issue.

Councils will also get new rights to insist developers build more starter homes, instead of focusing on properties likely to be attractive to ‘incomers’ seeking a holiday home. 

The moves, which were included in planning legislation over the autumn, are designed to provide respite to communities in areas such as Cornwall, the Lake District and the Cotswolds which have high concentrations of second homes. 

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Every week, our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: The travel trend for 2022 – the ‘to-do’ holiday.

Forget ‘bucket list’ holidays – an emerging trend is ‘to-do list’ trips.

Travel experts say that as a result of so many missed opportunities during the pandemic, many holidaymakers have realised there’s a whole world of adventures to be had out there and now don’t want to simply tick off destinations.

Stop off at Oman's Zighy Bay, pictured, on Lux Tripper's 12-night Best Of Oman And Dubai holiday

Stop off at Oman’s Zighy Bay, pictured, on Lux Tripper’s 12-night Best Of Oman And Dubai holiday

So for those who want to seize the holiday, here are eight amazing to-do trips to get the blood pumping.

Make an entrance in Oman by arriving by paraglider. A professional holds the controls as you sweep down on to the beach outside the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort.

The high-adrenaline option is part of a 12-night Best Of Oman And Dubai holiday where guests stay in four different five-star hotels and enjoy private visits to the area’s mountains, caves, canyons and big cities. From £4,350pp including flights (luxtripper.co.uk).

Cosmic: Go stargazing at Little Kulala safari camp under the dark skies of Namibia with Wilderness Safaris

Cosmic: Go stargazing at Little Kulala safari camp under the dark skies of Namibia with Wilderness Safaris 

For a taste of the heavens, try a stargazing safari, taking in three stunning field camps under the dark skies of Namibia.

In the first camp, Little Kulala, the 11 safari suites have rooftop decks with bean-bag chairs for relaxed stargazing. Or lie on a Star Bed on your suite’s lower deck and use astronomy apps on tablets provided to guests.

Spotting wild animals complements the astronomy at the next two camps on a five-star itinerary. From £7,253pp including flights (wilderness-safaris.com).

Take up the chance to visit the vast New Mexico ranch built by media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner. The nine-day Resorts And Ranches tour includes excursions and spa visits from Denver and Colorado Springs to scenic Santa Fe. From £6,450pp plus flights (luxurygold.com).

Colorado Springs, pictured, is one of the stops on Luxury Gold's nine-day Resorts And Ranches tour

Colorado Springs, pictured, is one of the stops on Luxury Gold’s nine-day Resorts And Ranches tour

The Resorts And Ranches tour also takes in 'scenic' Santa Fe, pictured. Prices start from £6,450pp plus flights

The Resorts And Ranches tour also takes in ‘scenic’ Santa Fe, pictured. Prices start from £6,450pp plus flights

Bring the whole family together at Asil, a huge, modernist mansion with Mediterranean views near the old fishing port of Kalkan in Turkey. 

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom property sleeps ten and has an infinity pool, gardens, a barbecue pit and outdoor dining area. The property costs from £2,550 a week (vintagetravel.co.uk).

Soak up the glamour of Miami’s Art Deco South Beach on a mini-break in the British Airways January sale (it started early). 

Enjoy views of the old fishing port of Kalkan, pictured, from Asil mansion -  Vintage Travel is offering stays in the modernist five-bedroom property

Enjoy views of the old fishing port of Kalkan, pictured, from Asil mansion –  Vintage Travel is offering stays in the modernist five-bedroom property 

Discover the island of St Kitts, pictured, on a seven-night trip with British Airways

Discover the island of St Kitts, pictured, on a seven-night trip with British Airways 

Get flights and three nights at Riu Plaza hotel on Miami’s buzzing Collins Avenue from £499pp. 

Alternatively, discover the jetset Caribbean island of St Kitts with flights and seven nights sandwiched between a golf course and a golden beach at the Timothy Beach Resort from £599pp. 

Guests can visit hot springs, ride horses on volcanic beaches or take catamarans to the sister island of Nevis (britishairways.com/sale).

Enjoy crowd-free days on the hideaway Greek island of Halki, pictured above, with Olympic Holidays

Enjoy crowd-free days on the hideaway Greek island of Halki, pictured above, with Olympic Holidays 

Head to the Greek island of Halki if you want to experience a hideaway island closer to home. With only one paved road and few vehicles, it offers quiet nights and crowd-free days. Fly to Rhodes, then join locals on an hour-long ferry to Halki harbour, where you’ll stay in the Aretanassa Hotel – known locally as the Queen of Halki and set in a former sponge warehouse. From £773pp including flights (olympicholidays.com).

Next year a once-in-a-decade opportunity is coming up for garden-lovers to visit Floriade Expo, Holland’s huge horticultural show running from April to October and featuring some 3,000 species.

A five-day rail tour includes travel from London, visits to windmills and cheese farms, and a cruise on the canals of Amsterdam. From £695pp (arenatravel.com).

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