Latest figures show Pembrokeshire has catapulted to become the third empty property capital in the whole of the UK.

The number of properties that currently stand vacant throughout the county totals 4,331 per 100,000 people.

Gwynedd is the overall empty property capital with 5,286 properties per 100,000 people followed by Argyll and Bute with 4,887. Ceredigion comes in fifth with 3,595.

The figures were released on Thursday (September 7) by Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance, which concludes that as a result of the county’s rich history and stunning coastal areas, the county has suffered from the influx of holiday-home owners.

A startling 74 per cent of Pembrokeshire's vacant properties belong to people with second properties.  And this, understandably, weighs heavily on the shoulders of the native residents who are keen to see their children and grandchildren remain in their Pembrokeshire homeland.

But the age-old dilemma of rising house prices is sadly preventing this from happening.

According to Rightmove, properties in Pembrokeshire have had an overall average price of £261,833 over the last year.

The majority of sales in Pembrokeshire during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £358,775. Terraced properties sold for an average of £172,212, with semi-detached properties fetching £210,431.

Overall, sold prices in Pembrokeshire over the last year were three per cent up on the previous year and 23 per cent up on the 2020 peak of £212,441.

This means that many people on lower, and even middle income wages, are unable to compete and buy a house in the towns or villages which they have always called home.

And with the price tag that many of Pembrokeshire’s most highly sought-after areas carry, these prices are way off-limit.

In Newport, the average house price is £530,000.00 while in Tenby it stands at £387,314 and in St Davids it reaches £347,019.

The Welsh Government has already introduced a range of measures to address the issue of second homes, including giving councils the discretionary power to increase council tax premiums on second and empty homes and it has changed the rules on holiday lets so owners and operators make a fair contribution to their local communities.

However First Minister Mark Drakeford has been unable to raise the nation’s hopes in the way in which this is going to remedy the situation.

“Tourism is vital to our economy,” he said in a recent interview.

“But having too many holiday properties and second homes, which are empty for much of the year, does not make for healthy local communities and prices people out of the local housing market.

“There is no single, simple solution to these issues.”