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£1.7bn-worth of property remains unclaimed in England and Wales

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25/09/2020
As first-time buyers struggle to get on the ladder, a massive 7,991 property estates sit unclaimed across the country
£1.7bn-worth of property remains unclaimed in England and Wales

There’s an estimated £1.744bn worth of unclaimed property lying vacant across England and Wales, according to Stripe Homes.

The property developer said there are some 7,991 estates currently left unclaimed in England and Wales, with an estimated value of £218,300 each.

The majority of these estates have been left by bachelors, spinsters and widows who have failed to pass them on via a will.

They include everything from multi-million-pound mansions to one-bedroom terraces.

Each estate remains on the list for 30 years before being passed to the Treasury. Any blood relative or spouse could be entitled to a share of the estate, although this doesn’t include non-married partners, civil partnerships or stepchildren.

Unclaimed estates hotspots

London is the unclaimed property hotspot of England and Wales, with 30% of all unclaimed estates located in the capital.

At an estimated worth of £516.7m, these unclaimed estates equate to the value of 1,079 London homes, based on the current average property price of £479,018.

The South East is the next hotspot, accounting for an estimated 18% of all unclaimed properties valued at £310.7m, the equivalent of 957 average properties in the region.

The East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber and South West are also home to some of the largest levels of unclaimed estates in England and Wales.

Managing director of Stripe Homes, James Forrester, said: “Finding out you’re eligible to claim one of the thousands of unclaimed estates across England and Wales is probably one of the most fortunate but unlikely ways of getting a foot on the property ladder.

“It makes for quite depressing reading when you consider the struggle many are facing to secure a property of their own while such a substantial value of bricks and mortar is currently left tangled in red tape, only for the Government to take control of it after 30 years.”

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