Empty homes in the City of London up 229 per cent as vacant stock in England hits £50bn

 
Oscar Lopez
The Square Mile - London's Financial District
Homes in London's Square Mile are sitting empty. (Source: Getty)

London experienced its first rise in the number of long-term empty homes since 2009 last year, according to government data analysed by online estate agent HouseSimple.

The total number of empty homes in the capital grew from 19,845 in 2016 to 20,237 in 2017, resulting in £9.6bn worth of empty property.

The City saw the second biggest increase in England, with a massive 229 per cent rise in vacant properties last year. Redbridge, with a 68 per cent increase, and Kingston Upon Thames, which saw vacant homes climb by 48 per cent, also saw big increases.

Read more: London house prices predicted to keep falling

Southwark has seen the biggest rise of any London borough in the top ten, according to HouseSimple, with a surge of 21.8 per cent.

Top Ten cities in England with the largest increases of long-term vacant homes:

Town/City

2016

2017

Change (%)

1

York

85

359

322.4

2

City of London

48

158

229.2

3

Cambridge

190

487

156.3

4

Stevenage

90

171

90.0

5

Harlow

120

225

87.5

6

Milton Keynes

318

527

65.7

7

Wokingham

240

386

60.8

8

Havant

177

270

52.5

9

Kingston upon Thames

181

268

48.1

10

Brighton and Hove

601

889

47.9

Across England, the number of empty homes has risen for the first time in a decade, and now represents £50bn worth of vacant stock, according to HouseSimple.

Read more: Savills: Central London land values have tumbled 12 per cent in three years

The number of long-term vacant homes - those that have been empty six months or more - had been gradually decreasing since 2008, but last year the numbers swelled again to reach 205,293 - a rise of 2.6 per cent.

York saw the largest increase, with the number of vacant homes surging 322 per cent in a single year.

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