• Issue

  • May 2017

The Source

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Value of Empty Properties in England reaches neighbourhood plans£43.5 billion

England has over 200,000 long-term empty homes, according to an analysis of government data.

In the capital alone, there were just under 20,000 homes sitting idle for over six months in 2016, a staggering £9.4 billion worth of property, taking into account the average house prices in London.

Birmingham was the worst performer outside London with 4,397 properties, with an estimated value of £956m, sitting empty; a figure up 13 per cent since 2015.

Bradford had the second highest figure outside London at 3,944, followed by Liverpool on 3,449 dwellings.

The tables have turned somewhat in London, where one of the most deprived neighbourhoods has swapped places with one of the wealthiest as the capital’s worst performer. Leading property hotspot, Kensington & Chelsea, has London’s highest number of long-term unoccupied dwellings with 1,399 empty, up 8.5 per cent on last year and a rise of 22.7 per cent in a decade. Taking into account the Royal Borough’s remarkably high average property prices, this would give the empty homes an estimated value of £2 billion.

Previously, last place in the capital had gone to Newham which has staged a remarkable turnaround in 12 months, slashing the number of empty homes by 55 per cent to 593 from 1,318 in 2015.

Despite there still being a significant number of empty properties in England, all of which, if occupied or redeveloped, would help address the housing crisis, over the last decade the number of long-term vacant homes in England has dropped 36.4 per cent from 314,719 in 2006 but it has barely moved year-on-year, showing a drop of 35 per cent in the decade to 2015. The estimated value of empty property in England now stands at £43.5 billion.

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