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Numbers of Vacant Residential Homes in Britain on the Decline

Posted by Staff Reporter on Apr 29, 2016 10:26 AM EDT
Canary Wharf Skyline seen at Night more big
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: A general view of the skyscrapers in Canary Wharf on November 26, 2009 in London, England. Former banker Sir David Walker has published his report, commissioned by the Government, into the corporate governance of banks. Amongst his conclusions is the requirement for UK's banks to publicly disclose the number of employees earning over 1 million GDP per year. (Photo : Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The number of vacant houses in the United Kingdom has fallen to its lowest level since 2014. In 2004, the numbers were at 318,642 and by 2015, the volume is at 203,596. According to a report from Property Wire, this was a one third decline in just a decade.

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Alongside the decline of vacant homes is the recovery in the number of owner occupied properties in the country. At its peak in 2002, about 69.5 percent of homes were owner occupied but fell to 62.8 percent in 2014 and now stands at 62.5 percent. Between 2002 and 2014, the net decline was about 6.7 percent overall.

This was not the case in 2015. A report from The Telegraph said that there were 218,000 vacant or empty homes in Britain. Even when all these were occupied at that time, the UK housing market woes would continue to persist.

Last year, a study conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research said that plans put all these empty homes in the market would not be able to resolve the current housing shortage. Nearly 1.4 million families are queued for vacancies in council houses in 2015.

The think tank proposed that councils be allowed to charge home owners of vacant homes higher taxes instead of the current 50 percent premium on Council Tax. This tax would also be applicable one year after the council home becomes vacant, instead of the current period of two years.

Another major issue at the time were the luxury homes in the upscale districts of London, many of which are left vacant. The same report said that the highest density of empty private homes is located in the North West, numbering 61, 000.

The market has since moved forward since the dire figures of 2015 and the good tidings are expected to continue well into the next few years.

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