Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
fru-gal

Empty Homes In London - Article

Recommended Posts

Just chewing the fat on another thread.

Need more granularity in the data, although rises are of course unwelcome. The extent of the problem could be overstated but it is difficult to say with just the raw numbers as given.

In a low transaction market, some of these empties (maybe not London) could be up for sale currently, it is the case near me.

Given the prominence of this issue, it deserves better data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just chewing the fat on another thread.

Need more granularity in the data, although rises are of course unwelcome. The extent of the problem could be overstated but it is difficult to say with just the raw numbers as given.

In a low transaction market, some of these empties (maybe not London) could be up for sale currently, it is the case near me.

Given the prominence of this issue, it deserves better data.

Absolutely.

There are a number of exemptions that might reasonably be considered part of the empty homes stock, while others that are included may just represent normal churn as they are in the process of being renovated/sold, as well as questions over whether loopholes are being exploited to remove empties from official figures in those boroughs where the council levels a premium on such:

How accurate is it?

We believe that the information is reasonably accurate at a national level, and is the most reliable information available. However there may be some misreporting at a local level. Councils normally check for council tax fraud.

It is important to note that some homes are not included in the statistics. These include:

  • Uninhabitable homes: Homes in very poor condition can be excluded from council tax and so are not counted in these statistics. No data is available to quantify how many of these there are nationally. Recent research in Bradford showed that there were 5,000 uninhabitable homes in that city, this indicates that there are many thousands across the country.
  • Homes due for demolition: Again these are exempt from council tax. In our view these should not be counted unless demolition is in doubt or has been cancelled. Currently 40,000 homes that were due for demolition under now cancelled regeneration schemes stand empty.
  • Flats above shops. Many unused flats above shops have no residential planning use class even though they are clearly laid out as dwellings. These are charged under business rates and not council tax and so do not feature in empty homes statistics. A report carried out for the government in 2004 estimated that there were 300,000 flats in this state in England.

http://www.emptyhomes.com/statistics-2/empty-homes-statistice-201112/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers, the 'uninhabitable' category looks like it could contain a multitude of sins. I wonder if that category would be a good one to start targeting?

I suspect that it includes a lot of stock that could easily be made habitable (technically pulling the toilet out might be considered to have made the property "uninhabitable" so I'm not sure that this label gives a clear indication of condition). What kind of targetting were you thinking of? I think local councils can make compulsory purchase orders to bring derelict stock back into use so flagging such properties up to them might be a good idea for anyone looking to buy a distressed sale.

The 300,000 unused flats above shops is also pretty interesting, certainly there are a lot of obviously empty properties of this kind to be seen around London. Wouldn't help much for families I don't think but I reckon they'd actually be quite a good option for singles given after the shop closes at night there are not going to be any noisy neighbours (unlike with purely residential blocks of flats).

I've also thought of another class of building that might be exempt from stats on empties but which could increase housing stock with minimal (compared to building from scratch) conversion: empty non-residential that already has the prequisite facilities (central heating, toilets, showers, kitchens). For instance would empty hospitals and care homes show up in these figures? They might not represent many discrete buildings but could include some pretty large ones that would divide down into multiple residential properties. I know a specific example of this - a lovely old (victorian I think) hospital on the edge of zone 1 London that has been left empty for decades (I suspect it's listed and the owners want it to become so derelict that they can justify a demolition request) and which was totally kitted out with working central heating, bathrooms, etc when it was mothballed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a few LA new build houses/flats on the Tulse Hill side of Brockwell Park here in Brixton that are derelict/boarded up and have been for years. Absolute prime location as the park is on your doorstep. I could never understand why? If Lambeth were to give me one for a £1 I would jump at the chance!! I know others would too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a few LA new build houses/flats on the Tulse Hill side of Brockwell Park here in Brixton that are derelict/boarded up and have been for years. Absolute prime location as the park is on your doorstep. I could never understand why? If Lambeth were to give me one for a £1 I would jump at the chance!! I know others would too.

That's interesting. Does the LA pay council tax on such properties (I know this would not represent an actual transfer of funds but it might be done for bookkeeping purposes)? If not then they wouldn't necessarily show up in the empty stats either as these are calculated off the back of council tax payments. You can see why the government felt the need to criminalise squatters - can't have anyone bringing these properties back in to use and undermining their supply crisis narrative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a few LA new build houses/flats on the Tulse Hill side of Brockwell Park here in Brixton that are derelict/boarded up and have been for years. Absolute prime location as the park is on your doorstep. I could never understand why? If Lambeth were to give me one for a £1 I would jump at the chance!! I know others would too.

Why don't you make a FOI request and demand to know why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lo-fi, I guess by 'targeting' I meant these properties being the subject of specific measures to bring them back to use. The above the shop properties are perhaps more problematic (see SNACR's post on the thread about Allsopp's recent comments) as it may impair the attractiveness of the commercial property below.

Biggest issue with the uninhabitable may be to what extent Govt. is happy to trample of private property rights to force dilapidated property back into a habitable state. Not a big deal for me, but for a blue-tie minister who espouses the importance of such ideals it could be politically difficult, especially if particular chums in high places happen to own some of these properties (see a thread a while back about foreign Royalty owning Bishop's Avenue properties which have since deteriorated to the point of being uninhabitable). I'd strip em via compulsory purchase in a heartbeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lo-fi, I guess by 'targeting' I meant these properties being the subject of specific measures to bring them back to use. The above the shop properties are perhaps more problematic (see SNACR's post on the thread about Allsopp's recent comments) as it may impair the attractiveness of the commercial property below.

Biggest issue with the uninhabitable may be to what extent Govt. is happy to trample of private property rights to force dilapidated property back into a habitable state. Not a big deal for me, but for a blue-tie minister who espouses the importance of such ideals it could be politically difficult, especially if particular chums in high places happen to own some of these properties (see a thread a while back about foreign Royalty owning Bishop's Avenue properties which have since deteriorated to the point of being uninhabitable). I'd strip em via compulsory purchase in a heartbeat.

If you google derelict compulsory purchase order a number of local newspaper stories come up so at least some councils are doing this, but even those councils that are inclined to pursue this route have to be aware of the property's condition in the first place, wait for empties to become derelict before they can even consider compulsory purchase, and then have to find the funding to make the purchase (even derelicts are overpriced in this bubble market, as is so clearly demonstrated by Bishop's Avenue) .

Re. above shop properties I've been told by a few people who've tried that the banks are generally disinclined to lend on these kind of flats so maybe if that is a widespread phenomenon (and current, this anecdotal information is quite old) it would add to the number of such empties along with SNACR's explanation (although I'm not sure the potential to damage the shop underneath would have an impact on usage in the areas with boarded up shops that are periodically trotted out on the news).

Edit: I think the Greens have a strong policy for bringing such properties back into use, but this is clearly at the expense of most other building initiatives (and comes with no real prospect of electoral success)

Edited by Lo-fi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   211 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.