200,000 homes left empty in England

by Gary Whittaker

Over 200,000 homes across England were found to have been empty for at least six months last year. Figures from the latest Department for Communities and Local Government figures show that 200,145 of homes were empty throughout 2016, despite the shortage of properties to buy or rent.

London was the worst city for empty homes, according to Property Partner, which wrote the report based on the figures, with 19,845 properties with no one living in them for at least six months across the capital. Based on housing prices across the city, these properties were worth a collective £9.4 billion.

In terms of boroughs, the worst for homes lying idle was Kensington and Chelsea, with had 1,399 empty properties that were worth around £664 million. Residents of the borough seem happier leaving the homes empty rather than selling or renting them, despite the high demand for London homes. 

The second worst area of London was Croydon, which has around 12,216 homes left empty for extended periods. Altogether, these empty homes were worth around £577 million. 

Outside of London, the worst performing city in the census was Birmingham. However, there were far fewer empty houses in the city, with just 4,397 vacant properties. Although Birmingham wasn't found to be as bad as London, these properties were still worth around £956 million altogether.

Following on from Birmingham, other cities that performed poorly and were found to have thousands of homes stood empty for at least half of 2016 were Bradford, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

The biggest jump in empty homes was in Blackburn, which had 35 per cent more vacant properties than the previous census, taking it to ninth place in the table. This is the largest increase seen by any local authority outside of London. 

However, some areas were found to have seen marked improvements, filling more empty homes than previously. The biggest change for the better was seen in Manchester, which reduced empty homes by 88 per cent, meaning just 1,365 were left idle for six months, showing that the city is becoming a more desirable location.

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26-April-17General Lettings News