£170bn worth of property 'sitting empty' across England

Kalila Sangster
·2 min read
Urban scene across built up area showing the slate roof tops of terraced houses on an old housing estate
An estimated 648,114 homes are lying vacant in England, according to new research. Photo: Getty

There is an estimated £169.67bn ($230.81bn) worth of vacant property sitting empty across England, according to new research by estate agent Benham and Reeves.

An estimated 648,114 homes are lying vacant in England, the research found.

London is home to the most expensive vacant dwellings, with the total valued at £35.58bn due to higher overall property prices in the capital, despite the capital ranking fourth regionally in terms of the volume of empty homes.

The North West is the region with the most empty properties in the country, with 104,738 homes worth £18.54m sitting empty. The South East comes in second place with 96,128 vacant homes worth £32.37m, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with 76,191 empty properties valued at £13.29m.

On a local level, London accounts for the top three areas with the most valuable vacant property markets with Southwark taking the top spot. The borough is home to 6,303 empty properties with an average house price of £520,771 equating to £3.28bn worth of empty homes.

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Camden is at number two with 3,878 empty properties worth £3.15bn, followed by the borough of Kensington and Chelsea with 2,067 homes worth £2.78bn lying vacant.

Outside the capital, Leeds has £1.97bn worth of property lying empty, followed by Cornwall (£1.83bn), Brighton and Hove (£1.68bn), Barnet (£1.58bn), Liverpool (£1.56bn) and Bournemouth, and Christchurch and Poole (£1.55bn).

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “Given the ongoing housing crisis and the government’s consistent failure in addressing the shortage of property stock to meet demand, it’s quite frankly scandalous that such a vast number of homes are sitting vacant across towns and cities all over England.

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Rather than struggle to find land to build on, focussing on the vacant dwellings already available and making them fit for standard would be a far easier win. Of course, the volume of homes is one thing but when you also consider the huge value the sale of these homes could bring to the local economy, the figures are staggering.

This isn’t an issue localised to London, it’s prominent all over England from Cornwall to Leeds, Brighton to Liverpool and it’s time we did something about it.”

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