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Revealed: England’s empty homes hotspots

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The number of empty homes in England increased to over 216,000 last year, but which area has the biggest problem?
Revealed: England’s empty homes hotspots

The number of empty homes across England has risen for the second year running — representing £53.6bn worth of vacant stock, according to Project Etopia.

The modular homes provider found that Birmingham has the highest overall number of vacant properties in the country, excluding London.

The Midlands city has 4,283 long-term vacant homes, as of October 2018, barely changed from the previous year, rising just 0.07%.

It is followed by Durham with 4,130 empty homes and Bradford with 4,090.

Fastest risers

Of towns and cities in England, Portsmouth saw the biggest percentage rise in long-term empty homes last year, with 101.5% more properties standing empty, totalling 939.

Hartlepool saw the second biggest rise (53.8% to 726), followed by Eastbourne, which experienced the third largest increase (48.4% to 518).

Overall, the number of long-term vacant properties in England rose 5.3% to 216,186 in the 12 months to October 2018 according to the latest MHCLG figures, following a 2.6% rise the previous year.

Before 2017, the number of long-term vacant properties had dropped every year since 2008.

Capital rising

London has also seen another rise in the number of long-term empty homes, its second increase since 2009. The total number of long-term vacant properties in the capital grew 11.1% to 22,481 in 2018 — representing £10.7bn worth of property.

Southwark, with 1,766 vacant properties, has risen to top place, replacing Croydon (1,521), which has dropped down to 10th.

Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, said: “This remains a national scandal that isn’t going away, pointing to a collective failure to really get to grips with this problem.

“The stubbornly high number of empty homes is compounding the housing market’s deeply entrenched problems with lack of supply remaining a key driver of high prices and low affordability.

“New homes are not being built fast enough and the constant spectre of abandoned properties aggravates an already tough market, particularly for first-time buyers who desperately want to claim the keys to their first property.”

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