The latest research by lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has found that there is an estimated £169.673bn worth of vacant property sitting empty across England.
Benham and Reeves analysed data on the number of vacant properties across England, looking at the average house price in each area to see where was home to the highest value level of vacant homes.
Regionally, London ranks top. While the capital only ranks fourth behind the North West, South East and Yorkshire and the Humber, in terms of the sheer volume of empty homes (71,666), the far higher price of property means that London’s vacant homes are valued at £35.581bn.
No surprise then that London accounts for the top three areas with the most valuable vacant property markets on a local level.
While Birmingham, Liverpool and Leeds are home to the most vacant properties across England, it’s the London Borough of Southwark that ranks top as the nation’s most valuable vacant property market. There are some 6,303 estimated vacant dwellings in the borough and with an average house price of £520,771, that equates to a huge £3.282bn worth of empty properties.
Camden and Kensington and Chelsea also rank in the top three most valuable vacant property markets, with both boroughs home to £3.153bn and £2.783bn worth of vacant properties respectively.
However, it’s not just the capital that’s home to a high value of vacant properties. Birmingham ranks fourth, with 10,999 vacant homes in the city at an average price of £193,774 meaning some £2.131bn of property is vacant in the nation’s second city.
Leeds also ranks high with £1.967bn worth of property lying vacant, followed by Cornwall (£1.834bn), Brighton and Hove (£1.676bn), Barnet (£1.576bn), Liverpool (£1.559bn) and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (£1.545bn).
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.
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.”