Despite a desperate shortfall in UK housing stock, new statistics have revealed that a staggering 200,000 homes across the country lie empty. With the government targeting a lofty one million new homes by 2020, and pressure on the house building industry rising, demand for new properties could be slashed by 20% if these empty homes were utilised.
Hear from keynote speakers from our seminars and panel debates on the main stage at UK Construction Week about how such issues should be addressed as the deadline draws closer.
Figures from DCLG, with national, regional and London analysis, revealed that there are 200,145 long-term homes that are unoccupied in England, with a value of over £43Bn.
In London, there were 19,845 homes sitting empty for over six months in 2016 – a total of £9.4Bn worth of property, taking into account the average price in London of £474,704.
One of the wealthiest places in London is now the capital’s worst performer.
Kensington and Chelsea has London’s highest number of long-term vacant homes with 1,399 empty, up 8.5% on last year and a rise of 22.7% in a decade. Taking into account the Royal Borough’s unusually high average property prices, this would give the homes an estimated value of £2Bn.
Birmingham was the worst performer outside London with 4,397 properties sitting empty – up 13% in a year – with an estimated value of £956M. Bradford had the second highest figure at 3,944 (down 5% valued at £858M) followed by Liverpool on 3,449 (up 5% valued at £750M).
Over a decade, Manchester has seen the greatest fall, dropping 88% to 1,365.
Harrow saw the biggest rise in England with an astonishing 571% climb to 651 from 97 in 2015.
Blackburn has seen the biggest rise outside London with a 32% rise in a year with 1,563 vacant homes. Blackpool just crept into the worst 20 town/cities outside London but achieved the greatest percentage reduction outside London, falling 26% in a year.
West Yorkshire, which includes Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, has the highest number among Metropolitan Districts for the third year in a row (11,555). All six districts – including Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Merseyside, Tyne & Wear and South Yorkshire – have long-term vacant property totalling £11.7Bn in value.
London saw the same percentage fall to 6,581. Ealing had the most LA-owned vacants with 897 (down 14.7%), followed by Greenwich with 733 (down 27.7%) and Hackney with 600 (up 30%). The biggest percentage rise was in Kingston upon Thames which rose 144% to 88. Bexley and Richmond upon Thames both had zero.
Outside London, Sheffield had the most LA-owned vacants with 762 empty homes (up 0.7%), followed by Liverpool on 682 (down 30.5%) and Birmingham on 650 (down 21%).
In London, Hammersmith & Fulham had the second highest total number of empty homes up 42.7% to 381 in 12 months. Over a decade Harrow not only saw the biggest rise in one year, but the largest London rise in 10 years, up 76%.
The borough of Croydon had the second highest number of vacant homes at 1,216 (up 19% in a year) followed by Camden with 1,114 (down 2%).
In the capital, 19 boroughs saw falls while 14 saw rises on the previous year.
Dan Gandesha, CEO of property investment marketplace Property Partner, comments: “These figures lay bare the huge amount of housing stock lying empty across the country