'Not the right housing' - Increase of empty homes discredits record rise in housebuilding, say campaigners

"Homebuilding may be at a 30-year high, but experts say a rise in the number of long-term empty properties shows the wrong kind of housing is being built."

The Hackney Gazette reports on the Action on Empty Homes and the latest Government data. Hackney has seen a 24% rise ion the last year with 1 in 100 homes now empty.

Action on Empty Hones Campaigns manager Chris Bailey says:

"There is speculation unsold newbuilds are contributing, alongside a general slowing of the housing market lowering transactions.

"One South East officer told me that of his 600 or so long-term empties, over a quarter were unsold newbuilds, including both market sale and so-called affordable shared ownership units.

"We can add to that the stories we know about in London where luxury developments like flats in Centrepoint remain unsold as Brexit jitters lead to developers pulling them off the market.

"When we set this against rising numbers of street homeless fuelled by benefit cuts and Universal Credit sanctions, and increased numbers of Londoners in temporary accommodation, it's difficult to call this anything other than a scandal."

You can read the full article here: https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/increase-of-empty-homes-discredits-record-rise-in-housebuilding-say-housing-campaigners-1-6382104



I was interested to read your blog, Will.  We possibly have the opposite scenario in South Lakeland where generally speaking anything that is built and which also includes affordable homes tends to get snapped up quickly, not lying empty for long.  This is probably because we are mostly a tourist destination where people want to live, but where locals often struggle to afford to buy due to low wages/high property prices/many second homes.  South Lakeland also includes two national parks, which makes planning interesting due to there being 3 planning authorities in the area.  I imagine a similar scenario might be the case in other tourist areas like Cornwall, Devon, Peak District etc?  It would be interesting to hear from empty homes officers in those holiday destination areas if this is also happening with them?.

Lynne Leach, Empty Homes Officer, South Lakeland District Council

Lynne Leach

Two sources of info that are helpful. CML's monthly reports, though you'll need to sign up to receive them.

Or try RICS' Monthly UK Residential Market Survey. Here's the link


Our significant increase in registered-LTE this year is down to unsold new builds becoming LTE just before CTB1 day. On the upside, they ought to be sold and occupied by next October's CTB1. Then again, there might be even more new builds next year. Ach. Which way up should the glass be to tell if it's half full or half empty?

Nick P-G
Reading BC