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Scandal Of Empty Homes - Sky News


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http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,3010...8,00.html?f=rss

Scandal Of Empty Homes - Sky News

There are nearly 700,000 empty homes in England, representing more than 3% of the total housing stock.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0...1592655,00.html

Despite rise in house prices, 700,000 homes lie empty in England - Guardian

In spite of the huge rises in house prices of recent years, there are still 700,000 houses and flats standing empty around England, while 106,000 people are living in temporary accommodation, new research shows today.
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"Apart from the social benefits, house prices tend to be lower in areas with a high number of empty homes."

Possibly because no-one wants to live in these areas.... duh!

Funny how nothing was said while the bubble was still expanding. Now the market has started drying... oh look what we've found down the back of the sofa! There was no housing shortage after all. Geee shucks. Anybody fancy forcing the sale of these so we can sell someone a mortgage?

btp

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Funny how nothing was said while the bubble was still expanding.

I joined this forum 17 Aug 04, whilst people were at least still believeing the bubble was expanding. The very next day I thought the forum should be aware of this :

Property Shortage: Myth or fact?. HousePriceCrash, Aug 18 2004

Since then this has been a recurrent theme. Just do a search for "empty homes agency." So when you say "nobody" was talking about it, that wasn't exactly true.

If you go to Empty Homes Agency, or in particular their statistics page, you will find London has ~100,000 empty homes: hardly an area where nobody wants to live!

But I do take your point : the mass media only pick up on stories when they suit the prevailing climate. It's the same with every topic, not just finance. Editors too stupid to judge important stories merely look for what is "topical", buy which I mean they copy the leaders / print whatever the spin doctors push hardest.

Edited by Sledgehead
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Mostly council stock that is so bad it would be cheaper to tear down than repair. The maintenance bills for council blocks are obsene and the work takes ages. One council block near Elephant & Castle SE1 is getting pulled down as just too costly to bring it up to a decent specification. The reality is a lot of the UKs housing stock should have been knocked down and rebuilt since the war.

Edited by mercsl
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I looked into this subject last year and found there were 250,000 second homes and 250,000 homeless families. Now we find there are also 700,000 empty properties as well and if the 500,000 BTL's are void for 10% of the year another 50,000 of unoccupied space. Add it up and thats 1,000,000 empty.

God help us!.

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Mostly council stock that is so bad it would be cheaper to tear down than repair. The maintenance bills for council blocks are obsene and the work takes ages. One council block near Elephant & Castle SE1 is getting pulled down as just too costly to bring it up to a decent specification. The reality is a lot of the UKs housing stock should have been knocked down and rebuilt since the war.

Yes its the usual story. Someone claims that there are more than enought houses to go around on the basis that there are 700,000 houses currently sitting empty. It may sound alot, but its only 3% of housing stock. 400k of these are public sector (ahh once again the state doing its bit efficiently) which leave only 1.5% of private sector housing unoccupied. Add in the fact that these are probably concentrated in some of the more run down / less desirable bits of the country and what do you have? A housing shortage.

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Yes its the usual story. Someone claims that there are more than enought houses to go around on the basis that there are 700,000 houses currently sitting empty. It may sound alot, but its only 3% of housing stock. 400k of these are public sector (ahh once again the state doing its bit efficiently) which leave only 1.5% of private sector housing unoccupied. Add in the fact that these are probably concentrated in some of the more run down / less desirable bits of the country and what do you have? A housing shortage.

There is empty property near me..not run down but good quality 3/4 bed homes in a nice area...empty. On the other side of manchester are rows of empty terrace housing. Good quality build but rundown. They can't be sold and there are streets of them. The local council hasn't got the moeny to regenerate the area.

As for council homes..if they so run down they can't be let then they should be sold off for a nomianl fee of £1 on condition that the purchases would renovate and sell/rent. That would save the cost of pulling them down. Unfortunately the council will want to pull them down and sell off the land for a profit.

We need joined up local/central housing policy but there is more chance of finding Elvis on the moon.

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Guest Bart of Darkness
Did I say nothing was said by anyone?
Funny how nothing was said while the bubble was still expanding.

Without wishing to get bogged down with semantics, that certainly seems to be what is inferred.

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I like how the title is: "Answer found to house crisis".

(This title is on Sky News interactive)

What crisis? high prices?? Yep, renovate them all and then add them to the massive supply... that will sort out the crisis!

I can't really see any benefit for the VI's with this article, as it seems to undermine the housing shortage argument!

Supply and Demand - simple!

Edited by Jason
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Mostly council stock that is so bad it would be cheaper to tear down than repair.

Location___________Total_______Local Authority______RSL______Other public_______Other private

London____________99,047_____8,952______________5,960____924______________83,211

ENGLAND TOTAL____689,675____57,536_____________39,195___7,375_____________585,569

So in your world, mostly means ~ 1 in 10. Another BTLer with a wierd view of figures. According to mercsl we must conclude most men are gay, most of the country was unemployed in 1979 and mercsl's portfolio is gonna lose most of its value in the not too distant future.

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

...there are 700,000 houses currently sitting empty. It may sound alot, but its only 3% of housing stock. 400k of these are public sector

Sorry balamory, but we're not interested in stories. Please supply facts only. Your figures are biased. Sorry, I meant wrong. Look at the table above or get it from the horses mouth @ http://www.emptyhomes.com/resources/statis...istics.htm#2004

Edited by Sledgehead
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The 99,047 figure for private dwellings empty for london reflects those that have been registered as emtpy for the council tax exemption for that year. The actual number empty for MORE than 6 months is only 43,000, less than half. Any landord with even a small void period can apply for a pro-rata exemption due to the place being empty even if its empty just for four weeks. Theres a great incentive to register your property as empty.

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Sorry balamory, but we're not interested in stories. Please supply facts only. Your figures are biased. Sorry, I meant wrong. Look at the table above or get it from the horses mouth @ http://www.emptyhomes.com/resources/statis...istics.htm#2004

Yes, based on your website, my facts were wrong. I took my split of public sector vs private from the Guardian story at the top of this thread. I have no idea where they got their figures from.

I still think my overall point was valid. 3% of the housing stock empty is not a lot. In London, based on the data from your source, its only 2%. Some houses will always be empty (renovation, letting voids, awaiting demolition etc). Has the percentage of houses empty ever been lower?

There is a housing shortage in this country. I know many people on this site would like to believe that high house prices are a conspiracy between banks, builders, Gordon Brown and BTL landlords. If we dont build more houses, and build houses that meet the demands of the general populations (i.e. more family homes vs 2 bed executive flats) then house prices will continue to outpace inflation over the long-term, just as they have for the last 40 years.

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Mostly council stock that is so bad it would be cheaper to tear down than repair. The maintenance bills for council blocks are obsene and the work takes ages. One council block near Elephant & Castle SE1 is getting pulled down as just too costly to bring it up to a decent specification. The reality is a lot of the UKs housing stock should have been knocked down and rebuilt since the war.

My nephew (in Canberra, Australia) lived until recently in a split-level flat in a government (think council) housing estate built in the 1970's which is being demolished because renovation would be more expensive than building anew.

It so happens I know an estimator who prepared the renovation quote for his company on this very property. The big cost items were waterproofing (the block has an oh-so-trendy-then flat roof), and rewiring a structure where a lot of the original wiring was sealed into the concrete walls.

Richard (the nephew) has now been allocated a duplex (I.e.semi-detached) at least 15 years older than the flat. Boringly simple design, but it looks good for a century or so.

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I still think my overall point was valid. 3% of the housing stock empty is not a lot. In London, based on the data from your source, its only 2%. Some houses will always be empty (renovation, letting voids, awaiting demolition etc). Has the percentage of houses empty ever been lower?

There is a housing shortage in this country. I know many people on this site would like to believe that high house prices are a conspiracy between banks, builders, Gordon Brown and BTL landlords. If we dont build more houses, and build houses that meet the demands of the general populations (i.e. more family homes vs 2 bed executive flats) then house prices will continue to outpace inflation over the long-term, just as they have for the last 40 years.

I think there is some validity in this argument. Any system requires a bit of slack to function properly. The past 10 years has seen a drop in the number of empty properties, in line with rocketing prices. To have low house prices we need an excess of all types of property, in all locations.

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BOOM IN BUY-TO-LET means more empty houses...

Because the housing stock gets used less efficiently. In other words, an investment property is MORE likely to be empty than an Owner-occupier property, because the owner will want to move in quickly, and will not need to seek a tenant. While BTL properties will inevitably loses tenants for a period as renters move out, and out takes a period to find a replacement. Also, OO's are more likely to do redecoration while they are living in the property, while BTL landlords will do redecoration when the flat is empty, and will keep a flat empty for a period to do redecoration.

When prices fall, and BTL landlords are forced to sell by the weight of finances, FTBers will buy from BTL investors. This will IMPROVE the efficiency of the housing stock, and in effect increase supply, helping to force prices lower still.

WHY HAS this phenomenon been ignored by EAs and other Vested Interests? Is Bubb the only one to see it?

Bubb isn't the only one to see it....I have posted several times to this effect in recent months. My fag-packet calculation indicates that even a 2 week BTL void on average could lead to inefficiency in housing use equivalent to the loss of 100,000 homes in the UK.

BTL has increased over the past decade. Supposing it has increased from 5% of housing stock to 15% of housing stock. The 10% which has been colonised by BTL would previously have been in the hands of owner occupiers, many of whom would have been FTBs.

OOs tend to live in their property until the day they move, when they buy another property and move in on the same day. This means that there are effectively no void periods in the property's occupation.

Fast forward to 2005. If there are 20m properties in the UK, and an additional 10% are in the hands of BTLers, then an additional 2m properties are in the hands of BTLers. These properties suffer rental voids, which is generally assumed to be 2 weeks per year.

With 2m properties suffering voids of 2 weeks per year, we have the equivalent of 77,000 properties lost in the UK which would previously have been occupied.

Does this go some way to explaining the price increases? I.e. a housing stock which comprises a higher proportion of BTL property with void periods needs to be larger to accomodate the same number of households? The price of increasing flexibility in renting (which to some extent BTL gives as the tenant can leave after 6 months, as many do) is a requirement for a higher number of properties.

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