Sharp fall in number of empty homes in London
In the past decade London has seen a dramatic fall in the number of properties left empty for over half of the year, according to Towergate.
The specialist insurance broker found that between 2006 and 2016, the number of properties in the capital left unoccupied for at least six months has fallen by over half (51%).
However, despite the long-term trend, some parts of London have seen the opposite – a rise in empty homes.
Lewisham, Harrow, Kensington and Chelsea, Haringey and Camden were the five boroughs which have seen the number of empty properties increase since 2006.
In the last year alone Harrow saw the number of empty properties rise from 97 in 2015 to 651 in 2016 – a 554% increase.
Jo Thoy from Towergate, warned: “Despite an encouraging fall in empty homes over the past decade, our capital still has a high number of homes left vacant for most of the year. This remains a concern in face of ever rising house prices and a continuing squeeze on supply preventing many getting on the property ladder.
“There are many reasons a property may be left unoccupied for long periods of time for example renovation works, overseas owners, inheritance or a gap between tenancies. Whatever the reason, it is critical homeowners are aware that homes left empty for an extended period of time can leave them exposed to a number of risks and threats – including burglary, theft, vandalism and water damage.
“If your property is going to be left vacant for a longer period, it’s crucial you check your insurance policy and contact your insurer to get specialist cover in place – standard policies are often only valid for up to a month.”