New research focusing on the importance of bringing the large number of empty homes in England back into use has been released by the Halifax.
The findings, based on data from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, reveals there are 689,675 empty homes in England, which makes up 3.2% of the total English housing stock available. Meanwhile 100,000 households across the country are living in temporary accommodation.
The research revealed there are 23 local authorities in which at least 5% of homes are vacant, with 14 local authorities having more empty homes than they have people in short-term accommodation. The findings also suggest that house prices in these locations tend to be around 22% lower than the average regional house price.
Of the areas with the highest number of empty homes, Tower Hamlets was found to have the largest percentage of residents in temporary accommodation at 3.3%, while at the same time having 7.1% of the local housing stock standing vacant.
On a regional basis the biggest proportion of empty homes can be found in the North West with 127,473 properties standing unused. It was also the only region to see an increase in the number of empty homes in the past five years despite an overall decrease across England of 9.8%.
Tim Crawford, group economist at Halifax, says: “While the number of empty homes in England has been getting lower over the past five years, a significant number of properties are still vacant. It is in the interest of the whole community to eradicate the empty home problem. Apart from the social benefits of bringing homes back into use, house prices tend to be lower in areas with a high number of empty homes.”
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