Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's Wrexham AFC Ownership Blamed for Rental Crisis in Welsh City

The success of Wrexham AFC, owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, has led to a rental crisis in the city, with landlords prioritizing short-term tourist rentals over affordable housing for locals.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's Wrexham AFC Ownership Blamed for Rental Crisis in Welsh City

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's Wrexham AFC Ownership Blamed for Rental Crisis in Welsh City

The success of Wrexham AFC, the Welsh football club owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, has led to an unexpected consequence: a rental crisis in the city of Wrexham. According to housing chief Tracey Hague, landlords are now preferring to let properties to football tourists over local residents, resulting in a shortage of affordable housing for the community.

Reynolds and McElhenney, who took ownership of Wrexham AFC in 2020, have been celebrating the club's recent promotion to League One after a triumphant 6-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers. The team's success has attracted worldwide attention, with the FX documentary series 'Welcome To Wrexham' earning five Emmy nominations. However, the increased popularity of the club has had an adverse effect on the local housing market.

Tracey Hague, the housing chief, has reported a "huge decrease" in affordable renting options within the city. Landlords are capitalizing on the club's fame and the influx of tourist fans by promoting Airbnb rentals, often using the image of Ryan Reynolds and the popularity of 'Welcome to Wrexham' to attract visitors from around the globe. These short-term rentals can command prices of up to £90 per night, making them more profitable for property owners than long-term leases to local residents.

Why this matters: The Wrexham rental crisis highlights the unintended consequences that can arise when a small city experiences a sudden surge in tourism and global attention. It emphasizes the need for local authorities to balance the economic benefits of increased visitor numbers with the housing needs of the local population.

While the "Rob and Ryan effect" has undoubtedly brought unprecedented interest and visitors to Wrexham, benefiting the local economy, the deputy leader of Wrexham council, David Bithell, acknowledges that the city now faces similar housing challenges to other tourist areas in Wales. He emphasized that the council has a statutory duty to provide housing for homeless people, indicating that measures will need to be taken to address the shortage of affordable rental properties for local residents.

Key Takeaways

  • Wrexham AFC's success led to a rental crisis, with landlords preferring tourists over locals.
  • Landlords are capitalizing on the club's fame by promoting Airbnb rentals at high prices.
  • The housing shortage has adversely affected the local community's access to affordable housing.
  • The council acknowledges the need to address the housing crisis and provide for the homeless.
  • The "Rob and Ryan effect" has brought economic benefits but also unintended housing challenges.