640,000 empty homes in England

640,000 empty homes in England

13:11 PM, 7th October 2020, About 3 years ago 10

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There are currently a shocking 640,000 empty homes in England, which account for 2.65% of all houses. But where in the country are the most houses sitting vacant? Coulters have conducted research using Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data to discover the areas with the highest percentage of vacant homes and reveal the UK’s Empty Home Hotspots.

The majority of areas with the highest percentage of empty homes are found in the North West, with Blackpool having a higher rate of empty properties than anywhere else.

Half of the top ten empty home hotspots are located by the coast (Blackpool, Barrow-in-Furness, Hartlepool, Liverpool, and Fylde).

At the other end of the scale, some areas had as little as 1% of properties lying empty.

Discover the full findings here: https://www.coultersproperty.co.uk/no-one-home

The UK’s Top 10 Empty Home Hotspots 

Rank Local Authority Vacant Dwellings % of Vacant Dwellings
1 Blackpool 3,842 5.47%
2 Burnley 2,089 5.09%
3 City of London 311 4.78%
4 Barrow-in-Furness 1,575 4.70%
5 Hartlepool 2,078 4.70%
6 Liverpool 10,704 4.67%
7 Southwark 6,303 4.63%
8 Hyndburn 1,660 4.50%
9 Blackburn with Darwen 2,717 4.43%
10 Fylde 1,751 4.40%

The UK’s Top 10 Most Occupied Homes Hotspots

Rank Local Authority Vacant Dwellings % of Vacant Dwellings
1 Corby 135 0.45%
2 Wandsworth 804 0.54%
3 Hammersmith and Fulham 659 0.74%
4 Westminster 988 0.79%
5 Daventry 392 1.08%
6 Barking and Dagenham 921 1.21%
7 Solihull 1199 1.30%
8 Lambeth 1849 1.31%
9 Herefordshire, County of 1,136 1.32%
10 Brent 1,662 1.38%

Corby, Northamptonshire has the lowest percentage of vacant dwellings, with other areas in the Midlands, such as Daventry, Solihull and Herefordshire, in the top ten.

The majority of areas with the lowest proportion of empty houses were found in London.

The research also reveals the areas where empty homes are on the rise and decline. You can view the findings in full by clicking here. 

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Freda Blogs

17:15 PM, 7th October 2020, About 3 years ago

There's going to be a lot more soon, with LLs leaving properties vacant after tenants move out, whilst this crazy evictions nonsense continues.
What kind of a land are we living in when as property owners we are no longer permitted to decide what we can do with our own properties (and get bankrupted in the meantime whilst tenants stay rent free/)


18:41 PM, 7th October 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 07/10/2020 - 17:15
Depends how long you can last if leveraged, frankly unless there's a miracle we are going to have a lot of unemployed for several years to come, and the government's back is against the wall....they have to house them somewhere, vacant houses will become the target, the government write the rules,and can change them at will. How about a huge council tax on vacant properties.... don't flame me, it's possible.

Happy Landlord

10:53 AM, 8th October 2020, About 3 years ago

Its quite simple rather than penalizing landlords all the time why not incentivize by making it easy to obtain light refurbishment loans and doing away with clause 24, SDLT, payment of council tax on empty properties etc.

There are practically no methods of finance at the moment to either buy property which is ready for letting or needing repair and then letting - the government could quite easily encourage lenders by adjustment of tax or other incentives - I believe that the government is not the least interested in housing of the population just obtaining as much money as they can from the PRS.

My Business model has been shot to pieces in the last year or two I used to refurb houses to bring back into the housing stock but its nearly impossible to do this now - That is one of the reasons why so many properties are empty. The other principal reason is that there are so many landlords leaving the sector through constant new legislation, most of which is not needed, causing PS landlords to leave the sector.

Robert M

10:57 AM, 8th October 2020, About 3 years ago

Many of the empty properties listed in this research will be unfit for habitation, or may be subject to long-term ownership disputes.

Empty properties are already subject to higher levels of Council Tax in many LA areas, with some charging twice the normal CT rate for properties that have been vacant for a long time.

The current raft of legislation making eviction more difficult (and costly), and imposing additional taxes on landlords' rental income, will inevitably lead to some landlords choosing to leave their properties vacant (as the risk of letting, and cost of letting, the properties is too high). - Another example of how government policies are actually causing increased homelessness.

Some local authorities don't even have an Empty Homes Officer so in some LA areas nobody is searching for empty properties or tracing owners or doing anything about the empty properties. Councils already have powers to encourage owners to renovate and bring properties back into use, or force this if necessary, or even purchase the properties and bring them into use themselves in some instances, but for whatever reasons LAs are reluctant to do this and instead leave properties to remain empty for years.

terry sullivan

12:47 PM, 8th October 2020, About 3 years ago

most empty properties are owned by public sector

also sipps reject residential--many businesses have empty property above

prisoners, people in care, probate


14:20 PM, 8th October 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Happy Landlord at 08/10/2020 - 10:53
This government only know about penalisation, incentivise is not in their vocabulary. Just wait a little, already Local Authorities are begging for property, eventually they will crawl across broken glass to house their unhousable individuals and then landlords will be in charge - until the government commandeers their properties.


15:35 PM, 8th October 2020, About 3 years ago

These empty properties are all in England, not the UK as stated above the list. I'd be interested to see the figures for the other countries in the UK and a break down of areas.

The Secret Landlord

8:52 AM, 10th October 2020, About 3 years ago

I can understand why some landlords feel fearful of letting their properties in the current climate, however it's important to recognise when you leave a property empty you are then liable for all the utility bills (and council tax is a killer), your insurance premium will also increase, but your amount of covered risks will decrease.

An empty property is also more of a target for crime and stripping out materials from a property is quite common - but will cost you £££ to put right. Moreover, an empty property (esp one that is not checked regularly), can develop issues which if left unattended can become far worse - e.g. a leaking pipe/ roof etc.

It is important to balance these business risks against the odds of a non-paying tenant.


13:20 PM, 12th October 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Happy Landlord at 08/10/2020 - 10:53Think you need to think of the new world going forward. All political parties have now deserted the landlord vote - the last party - the Tories - have now made up their strategy which says that the biggest issue amongst youngsters is their not being able to get a home and the common reason why? BTL landlords hogging all the property! We know this is not true and not the end of the story but thats not how the wider world see us. To get the young vote, the Tories and every other party, will not relent until they have beaten every landlord out of business. If you want to stay a landlord, be prepared to take the beating.


15:24 PM, 12th October 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by HardworkingLandlord at 12/10/2020 - 13:20
I am desperate to vacate the PRS but am unable to do so. Firstly there is the fiasco of the cladding and secondly there appears to be no demand. It took 18 months for me to sell my last property whilst the unit remained vacant (I was not going to jeopardise my chances of a sale by placing a tenant in it) and I am once again in the same predicament. A beautiful and modern GBP500 000 unit, recently refurbished and overlooking the Thames but absolutely no interest. I don't want to own an empty property. UK legislation forces it on me.

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