Housing worth £123bn is lying empty in some of the UK’s most desirable areas, according to new research, reported in The Daily Telegraph. The findings, from University College London, were accompanied by calls for a 1% tax on second homes to deter owners from keeping property mothballed.
Researchers also concluded that building new homes was not the answer to the housing crisis because they were likely to be bought as second residences or investments in the most popular areas.
“If you delved into the detail here in Wimbledon I imagine the data would show that low-use properties are very concentrated in small numbers of desirable areas, some of which are spectacularly expensive, too,” says Clive Scrivener, Partner, Scrivener Tibbatts.
New strategy aims to tackle empty houses
Harrogate Council in North Yorkshire has approved a strategy to tackle the problem of its empty and unused properties. The Empty Homes Strategy was described in the Yorkshire Post as ‘another tool in the armoury’ to tackle wasted housing resources in the area and presents step-by-step guidelines that the council can undertake in regards to empty homes – ranging from encouraging property owners to fill the site, to enforcing compulsory acquisition orders and subsequent sale of properties.
“Sounds like a plan we could do with in Wimbeldon,” concludes Clive.
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