Devon villages with the highest Airbnb property rates in the UK

Three small villages in Devon have some of the highest Airbnb rental rates in the UK, it has been revealed.

According to new research, almost a quarter of all homes in the picturesque villages of Woolacombe, Croyde and Georgeham in North Devon are listed on the popular website.

The analysis carried out by the Guardian showed that 23 percent of properties in these villages were listed on Airbnb for rent as vacation homes, making it one of the most prolific in Britain.

The highest rate in the UK, according to research, was in Edinburgh‘s Old Town, where 29 out of 100 properties were actively listed on the site.

Croyde Bay

Devon properties even pushed London to the post, where the popular areas of Brick Lane North, Fitzrovia West and Soho each had 15 ads per 100.

The figures have raised concerns about vacant properties in these areas and the ability of local people to afford homes in their town or village.

Speaking to Daily mail Dan Wilson Craw, director of housing lobby group Generation Rent, said the increase in Airbnb is depriving communities of the opportunity to buy a home in the area.

He said: “In rural areas as in cities, the story is the same: young adults cannot afford to settle in the areas where they grew up.

An aerial view of Woolacombe on a sunny summer day
An aerial view of Woolacombe on a sunny summer day

The Guardian visited Woolacombe to talk to residents about the Airbnb boom – and the reaction has been mixed.

Steve Woodman, who runs the Londis store and sits on the parish council, said there were positives and negatives of Airnbnb.

He said: “It’s good for businesses that we have people coming here all year round and it’s great for those making money with Airbnb.

“There are locals here who rent their homes for a few weeks in the summer and earn enough to pay off this year’s mortgage.”

But houses and apartments that could have housed premises are being bought by investors who can make a profit by renting them out through Airbnb and other sites.

Steve told The Guardian: “It means there are fewer places for the locals to live. Real estate prices are amazing. “

Debbie Hollin said she used Airbnb for travel but didn’t think it was good for Woolacombe and the surrounding villages.

She said: “The community is dying because so many properties are vacation homes. The houses around me are deserted for weeks.

Woolacombe Councilor Malcolm Wilkinson
Woolacombe Councilor Malcolm Wilkinson

“It used to be a great community, but you don’t see so many local kids now.”

Councilor Malcolm Wilkinson, a resident of Woolacombe and a senior member of the North Devon Council for Coastal Communities, agreed to some extent.

He said: “If you have an apartment you don’t rent it to a local person who earns £ 10 an hour – you rent it for £ 1,000 a week.”

For many years there were athletic competitions between Woolacombe and a nearby village where residents participated in basketball, golf, swimming and surfing.

But Malcolm said, “Now it’s tough to put together a bowling team of six. It’s a shame.”

However, he acknowledged that the face of tourism in the village has changed dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years.

He said: “We have about 1,400 to 1,500 people. In summer, this population reaches about 15,000.

“Traditional B & Bs are on the verge of dying out here. Airbnb fills that niche.”

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