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Scandal Of Europe's 11 Million Empty Homes

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Scandal of Europe's 11m empty homes

More than 11m homes lie empty across Europe – enough to house all of the continent's homeless twice over – according to figures collated by the Guardian from across the EU.

As ever, interesting reading comments. Someone managed to get in first with an attempt to obfuscate:

MorganFreechild

"enough to house all of the continent's homeless twice over"

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but that's not really the point, is it?

Back on track:

HorseCart

The real question is, Why has it taken 6 years since the Financial Crash to get these Economics Statistics?

Every month we have to put up with WELL-PAID economists who purr over GDP, Inflation, Interest Rates, Employment, etc.

Yet it has taken this long since the Housing Crash to get stats on empty houses?

Guardian building up a head of steam on housing?

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Scandal of Europe's 11 million people that can't secure jobs in the areas that could buy or rent them, keep, service and maintain them.

Many of the homes were either build for wealthy second homes or are in places where there once were good paying, iving wage work and healthy communities. ;)

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There are 10's of thousands of empties in Ireland, all are kept off the market using forbearance. The banks also use forbearance to keep those not paying mortgages in houses, thus removing stock from the market and helping to keep a thin vernier of solvency.

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They've got articles about Spain and Ireland today as well.

Ireland's bailout may be over but its housing crisis is far from finished

Ireland may have left the international bailout programme but its problems are far from over, with the number of empty properties left over from the crash likely to almost double in 2014, according to rating agencies and campaigners for distressed mortgage holders.

There are now 14,000 empty houses and flats scattered across the Irish Republic, including 700 so-called "ghost estates".

...

Almost a fifth of mortgage holders are in arrears in Ireland – the majority more than three months behind their payments. In its latest analysis of the Irish property market at the start of 2014, the ratings agency Fitch said one in five houses where mortgages had been in arrears for three months or more was likely to be repossessed.

...

Spain's crash landlords: empty homes spawn black housing market

The latest census data indicate a total of 3.4m houses sitting empty in Spain alongside another nearly half a million properties that were abandoned part way through construction.

It's not all bad though ...

Housing market anticipates confirmation of recovery

Confirmation of a recovery in the housing market should be provided this week from the UK's biggest housebuilders that are publishing results that are expected to be buoyed by government schemes to bolster the market.

...

The improving conditions are expected to help unleash bonus payouts for top bosses. The Observer reported that Pete Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, was on track to be handed £4.5m of stock in April, and the former head of Persimmon, Mike Farley, almost £3m.

...

See what a competent government can achieve?

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They've got articles about Spain and Ireland today as well.

Ireland's bailout may be over but its housing crisis is far from finished

Spain's crash landlords: empty homes spawn black housing market

It's not all bad though ...

Housing market anticipates confirmation of recovery

See what a competent government can achieve?

Those donations to the Tory party from the big builders really paid off for them in the end.

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They've got articles about Spain and Ireland today as well.

Ireland's bailout may be over but its housing crisis is far from finished

Spain's crash landlords: empty homes spawn black housing market

It's not all bad though ...

Housing market anticipates confirmation of recovery

See what a competent government can achieve?

Those donations to the Tory party from the big builders really paid off for them in the end.

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It's all very well knowing about the sum total of empty homes in europe (and it's good to know such figures) but what's going to be done with that information. The UK's figures have been known about for a very long time but little or nothing has been done about the issue even under Labour the party that is supposed to be the guardian's main political buddies.

If somehow the empty UK properties were released onto the market they would only absorb a fraction of the millions of people that the UK population is expected to increase by over the next few years.

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It's all very well knowing about the sum total of empty homes in europe (and it's good to know such figures) but what's going to be done with that information. The UK's figures have been known about for a very long time but little or nothing has been done about the issue even under Labour the party that is supposed to be the guardian's main political buddies.

If somehow the empty UK properties were released onto the market they would only absorb a fraction of the millions of people that the UK population is expected to increase by over the next few years.

Been hearing that line for longer than people have been calling the crash on here. Where are the hundreds of thousands of homeless? Who in their right mind would come to a country to live if they knew they would be squatting under a bridge?

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Been hearing that line for longer than people have been calling the crash on here. Where are the hundreds of thousands of homeless? Who in their right mind would come to a country to live if they knew they would be squatting under a bridge?

They come here expecting to squat on a sofa for a time but it then often ends up being all of the time.....all in this together. ;)

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I'll note that, when the government actually tries to force people to go and live in the some of the empty homes in the UK, the left are out in force complaining.

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They come here expecting to squat on a sofa for a time but it then often ends up being all of the time.....all in this together. ;)

How many commute back and forth though, seasonal work and such? My basic point is that the numbers of real actual "homeless" do not equate, nothing like equate, to the housing "need" we are constantly being told about. The whole narrative in this country is "shortage", "HPI", "not making any more" etc etc. Mostly B.S IMO, as many of those who swallowed it are now finding out to their cost.

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"Homelessness" has little to do with the availability of empty homes.

In East Germany they're still demolishing (50,000 per year IIRC) while at the same time there is a EU negative interst rates fueled house price boom.

Edited by BigPig

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I'll note that, when the government actually tries to force people to go and live in the some of the empty homes in the UK, the left are out in force complaining.

And you would happy to be forcibly moved hundreds of miles away from your friends and family?

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The question to ask when presented with any big looking statistic is "is this really a big number?"

Lets look at the UK, 700,000 empty houses out of 25,000,000 equates to a vacancy rate of 2.8% or 1/36 houses empty, is that a big number? I don't know.

One would expect a certain amount of vacancy due to delays in selling a property after death, voids between tennants in rental properties, properties that are uninhabitable for whatever reason. The rest are either going to be holiday homes or houses that are in such a poor location that no-one wishes to live there.

It would be very interesting to see a more detailed analysis of why these houses are empty, without that it's hard to draw any meaningful conclusion as to what is going on.

Edit:

Empty Homes Statistics 2012 indicates that the number of long term empty homes is 250,000, i.e. 450,000 (65%) of the "empty homes" are just short term "market churn" and not IMO anything worth getting excited about.

Of the rest, the following table is interesting:

regionaltotals-stats2012.jpg

Where one sees that the bulk of the empty homes as a percentage of housing stock are concentrated in the Northeast, Northwest and Yorkshire and Humber, suggesting that the real problem is that there is simply no-one willing to live there.

Edited by Goat

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And you would happy to be forcibly moved hundreds of miles away from your friends and family?

If it's a choice between that and being homeless yes, of course I would be happy with that. What's your alternative, we start building out into the 5th dimension so everyone can live exactly where they choose regardless of cost?

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And you would happy to be forcibly moved hundreds of miles away from your friends and family?

Serious question: have you ever had a job?

I only ask because I know lots of people who have been forced to move hundreds of miles away from friends and family for work reasons so I kind of lack sympathy with people who don't work but insist that they have a right to live in a particular area at the taxpayers expense.

Edited by Goat

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Serious question: have you ever had a job?

It's an interesting point. There does seem to be a section of the left (not all of them to be fair) who seem to think that asking people on benefits to do the sort of things that those of us lucky enough to be gainfully employed just take for granted is somehow unreasonable. I don't understand that point of view at all.

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