Number of empty homes falls in England

Published on: 03/09/2007

As demand for property continues to rise, there has been a fall in the number of houses sitting empty in England.

Figures released by campaigning charity The Empty Homes Agency, reveal there are now 282,000 empty homes in the country, down from the same time last year.

Many speculators purchase properties as an investment, but are then forced to leave them empty as they do not wish to become landlords themselves, preferring instead to reap the rewards of the properties capital gains.

However, The Empty Homes Agency warns against this.

“The law has progressively hardened against such behaviour. The Housing Act last year was extended to include another power for local authorities to tackle this problem.

“The London boroughs are stepping up their efforts dramatically, especially since a couple of years ago when empty properties became an integral feature of the London housing strategy.”

London boroughs currently have the power to offer a 50 per cent discount on empty properties, but many are deciding against doing so, hoping to reduce the number of empty homes.

And the measures seem to be working.

The spokesperson continued: “Given the continual high level of empty properties, coupled with the demand and need for housing, hopefully if current trends continue, there will be a return to use for most properties.

“There will be a continual improvement. There is a year-on-year downward trend that has already been happening and it is speeding up.”


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