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England's empty properties hit highest level in a decade

There are more empty properties in England than in a decade. Online estate agent HouseSimple analysed government data to reveal that the number of vacant homes in England has risen for the first time since the financial crash.

Those 205,293 properties are worth an estimated £50 billion. And while there has been a significant rise in empty homes recently, we are still well below the record number of vacant homes of 326,954 recorded a decade ago after the financial crash.

The city with the biggest increase in empty properties is York where the number of long-term vacant homes has risen by an extraordinary 322 percent. Next up was the City of London with a rise of 229 percent and Cambridge with 156 percent. In London itself, there are 20,237 homes that have been empty in the long term.

Situation ‘needs addressed urgently’

HouseSimple looked at figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to figure out how many homes are not occupied in England.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of HouseSimple, said dealing with empty housing property should be a priority at all levels of government.

He said: “Having empty housing stock on this scale, in a country suffering a supply crisis with plenty of legal options open to councils, is a situation that needs to be addressed urgently.

“There are only so many times you can hear the latest housing minister declare we have a broken housing market and keep faith that they understand the scale of the problem. It would be good to see the Government actually do something about all these empty homes for a change.”

Many uninhabited properties are in a poor state of repair. Some councils have been buying up those properties with a view to renovating and renting or selling them. Other properties are left deliberately vacant by their owners who have purchased them as an investment. This is a particular issue in London.

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