Second-home ownership rises

The number of people who own a second home in Britain soared to a record level in 2009, according to research by the estate agency Knight Frank.

A combination of low returns on traditional investments and a growing trend to holiday at home led to a 2.6 per cent increase in the number of families who owned a new-build second property last year, to 245,384.

Knight Frank said it expected demand for such properties to continue growing this year, adding that many people were viewing a second home as an investment.

The West Country remains the most popular location for second homes, but other areas, such as Pembrokeshire and Norfolk, are growing in popularity.