More than 200,000 properties in England, estimated to be valued at £38 billion, are sitting vacant, according to new research by crowdfunding platform Property Partner.
There are a reported 203,596 homes throughout England which are deemed to be vacant long-term.
With nearly 21,000 homes which have been vacant for over 6 months, London has the most long term empty homes. The boroughs with the most empty homes are not the most obvious suspects either, with Newham, one of the most deprived parts of the capital, having the most, with 1,318 unoccupied properties.
In total the sum of all the empty properties in London is worth an estimated £12.4 billion.
Outside the capital, Bradford has more empty homes than any other town with over 4,000 sitting empty, worth nearly £400m.
However, the new research is also showing that in many places there has actually been a dramatic decrease in the number or long-term vacant homes, with Manchester, for example, showing an 84% drop in the past decade.
Throughout the country, numbers of long-term vacant properties in England are actually reducing. The 313,616 recorded in 2005 had dropped by a third to 203,596 in 2015.
Property Partner used data from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) dating back to 2005 to estimate the number of empty properties and their corresponding values.
Although the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s (RBKC) long term vacant housing stock is not the highest in the country, the sum of the value of properties is a whopping £1.7 billion. RBKC is also one of only three boroughs that have increased the number of vacant dwellings since 2005, the other two are Haringey and Lewisham.
CEO of crowdfunding platform Property Partner, Dan Gandesha, said that “these figures reveal a shocking waste of opportunity” in the English market, adding that “over a decade ago, the law changed giving councils the power to seize empty homes through Compulsory Purchase Orders and rent them back out to tenants, if they lay vacant for more than two years.”
“But we still find not enough being done in many parts of the country” he continues, “this is nothing short of a scandal.”
Mr Gandesha concluded by explaining that “if just half of the current empty homes could be brought to market, it would go a long way towards resolving the housing crisis, particularly in London.”