An estimated value of £38bn in UK wide scandal
According to research by property crowdfunding platform Property Planner, London alone has some 20,915 homes sat idle for over six months in 2015 – the equivalent to almost £12.4bn worth of empty property.
Newham, one of the capital’s most deprived boroughs, has the worst problem with 1,318 unoccupied properties.
Dan Gandesha, Property Partner CEO, said the figures exposed a “shocking” waste of opportunity, despite a decade since the law changed giving councils compulsory purchase powers to seize homes vacant for two years and rent them back out to tenants.
“This is nothing short of a scandal. To be fair, some towns and cities are getting to grips with the problem of long-term vacant properties. Yet 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.
“Despite the mountain of advice that the new London mayor has already received, I hope this is a priority for Sadiq Khan’s in-tray in City Hall.”
Definition of long-term empty homes: those dwellings which have been unoccupied and substantially unfurnished for over six months.
Property Partner analysed the latest data from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) looking at long-term vacant dwellings in England between 2005 and 2015, and then estimated the total value of this vacant real estate for towns and cities – including the capital.