Nearly half of the domestic properties in the Keswick area are now either holiday lets or a second homes.
Shock new statistics show there were 794 self-catering holiday units with a CA12 postcode last month, according to council tax records — that is more than double the number in 2017.
A further 477 properties are now second homes — a rise of 202 on the figure three years ago.
It represents a total of 1,271 holiday properties, which makes up 48 per cent of the total number of houses or flats (2,622) listed in the area in 2017.
The “quite astonishing totals” have alarmed councillor Allan Daniels, who is a member of Keswick Community Housing Trust (KCHT) which has tried to address the issue by having 41 affordable homes for local people built over the last decade.
“Keswick would become unsustainable if this continues, with children growing up and going to local schools. This is where it becomes quite worrying,” said Mr Daniels, who is an independent member of Keswick Town Council and a Conservative on Allerdale Borough Council.
He said the Lake District National Park Authority’s previous housing report on Keswick in 2017 showed there were 275 second homes and 396 holiday lets, a total of 29 per cent of the housing stock.
The percentage had since risen, with the only major construction of homes in the town being the 55-house development at Calvert Way, including 22 for KCHT.
“These are huge percentages. We are already getting villages without any shops. It is a very worrying situation for the younger generation hoping to get on the housing ladder, particularly as the average house price in Keswick is £370,000,” added Mr Daniels.
The rise in the number of local properties becoming self-catering holiday lets follows a social trend in which many people prefer to have their own space to stay in rather than use traditional B&Bs or guesthouses.
While the number of residential homes continues to diminish, Mr Daniels said the town’s housing total would not have risen much in recent years despite the efforts of KCHT.
“We can’t build enough to keep up with the number of homes becoming<\!p>holiday lets,” he said.
The situation was being made worse for local services, he said, because the owners of many holiday lets did not pay council tax and were also exempt from business rates.
“They are not contributing much to the welfare of the town,” said Mr Daniels.