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The Displacement Myth: Second Home Tourism in the Stockholm Archipelago

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Second homes are important for many households in Sweden. However, second homes are not uncontroversial and sometimes cause conflicts between the second home owners and locals. In attractive destinations, second homes are frequently blamed for creating price inflation, increased property values and higher property tax for all dwellings, including permanent homes. It is argued that this development is causing a displacement of permanent residents from these areas. However, others argue that the current depopulation trend in attractive second home destinations is caused by a restructuring of the rural labour market. This study departs from this societal and scientific conflict and has its aim in testing the displacement theory. This is done through an empirical case study dealing with essential issues regarding the development of second homes, permanent homes and changes in property values. The case area is the most popular second home destination in Sweden: the archipelago of Stockholm. Results show that increased assessed property values are caused primarily by increasing numbers of permanent homes, and the area is being repopulated rather than depopulated. The study concludes that no evidence of displacement caused by second home demand can be traced on a regional geographical level.
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Keywords: Second homes; Stockholm archipelago; displacement; property values; rural tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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