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Graham Awards


Where Airbnb listings outnumber ‘normal’ lettings by 60-to-1

Shocking figures produced by a council in the south west show the vast number of short lets available - and by contrast the very few mainstream rental listings.

Data for Devon County Council shows that as of late last week there were 253 listings for Airbnb in the seaside town of Exmouth in the south of the county - and there were just four residential lettings available.

And in the north Devon tourist port of Ilfracombe there were 326 Airbnb rentals available and, again, just four residential lettings. 


The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show house price inflation in Devon is running at 13.4 per cent – more than Cornwall or Somerset – and some parts of the county are even higher. 

North Devon at 22.4 per cent is in the top 10 districts in the country for house price growth with Torridge on 19.8 per cent, the South Hams at 15.5 per cent and East Devon on 14.8 per cent.

Devon county council is now creating what it calls “a new strategic housing task force in partnership with Devon’s district, town and parish councils … and other key partners such as Homes England.”

The council will also look at whether it can offer accommodation to key workers to attract them to work for the authority and lobby MPs to press for tax loopholes on holiday rental homes to be tightened.

The council is taking an all-party approach to what it calls a housing crisis. 



Tory leader John Hart says: “This problem is so serious that we need a united, cross-party approach. This is where Team Devon comes into its own. We are all talking the same language and should lobby together. We are speaking on behalf of 800,000 people.”

His Labour counterpart Rob Hannaford adds: “We must come together and work together to deal with this crisis. We can do more, we should do more and we must do more.”

And Liberal Democrat leader Alan Connett comments: “We all agree there is an issue and something needs to be done. Every one of us should be able to live in a safe, warm, secure home.”


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