Housing crisis: more than 200,000 homes in England lie empty (The Guardian, 20 Apr 2017)

  • Housing crisis: more than 200,000 homes in England lie empty

  • By Phillip Inmann. Published in the Guardian on 20 April 2017

  • Summary:

    • "More than 200,000 homes in England with a total value of £43bn were empty for at least six months during 2016 despite the desperate shortage of properties to rent and buy.

    • According to official figures, Birmingham was the worst affected city outside London with 4,397 empty homes worth an estimated £956m, followed by Bradford and Liverpool.

    • The wealthy borough of Kensington and Chelsea was the worst performer in London as super-rich owners rejected renting them out or selling up in favour of leaving their properties lying idle.

    • The royal borough had 1,399 empty homes worth £664m, compared with second-placed Croydon, which had 1,216 empty homes worth £577m.

      Across London there were 19,845 homes sitting idle for over six months in 2016, which amounted to £9.4bn worth of property, based on the average price in London of £474,704.

    • In response squatters groups have sought to occupy empty homes, with one group in January taking over a £15m central London property purchased by a Russian oligarch in 2014 to open it as a homeless shelter."

  • Keywords: UK, taxes, vacant property, empty dwelling, local councils, big landlords