Second homes in Tasmania: the growth of holiday homeownership and its community impacts

Housing Population Australia Tasmania

Despite the growth of domestic and international markets in second homes to be used for holidays (rather than as private let investments) there has been little research on this issue in the Australian context. Similarly, there has been little work outside what have been termed ‘geographies of temporary mobility’, despite there being reason to believe that the social distribution of the ownership of the homes that facilitate these patterns of movement, as well as their spatial distribution, are important. This paper presents the results of an initial study that draws together the international literature on second homes, and some of the complex methodological issues related to second home research. Analysing HILDA data for ownership levels of second homes, the authors discuss the relative limitations of data in the Australian context before moving on to a case study which examines Tasmania’s East Coast where there has been overall significant and sustained growth in second homes. Here the authors describe the results of interviews with real estate agents, local planning officers and community representatives to consider the wider ramifications and impacts of significant and localised second homeownership before considering some early policy recommendations directed at the state and federal tiers of governance.

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