Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Property shortage, what property shortgage?

At least 700,000 vacant dwellings in the UK each year since 2001

The Firstrung team missed this item in the 'Xmas rush' on news, however, it's worth noting now the objections raised by the Lib Dems in relation to the vast swathes of vacant housing in the U.K. Property shortage, what property shortage?

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:10 AM (488 views)
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3 thoughts on “Property shortage, what property shortgage?

  • “The Government must realise that there is an affordable housing crisis in this country but they’re not doing anything about it.”

    Well said, Mr Heath.

    However when the people enforcing vacant possession orders (local councils and Westminster) are also the people benefitting from inflated house prices (via local and central taxation), unfortunately we can expect nothing to be done that might threaten either of those income streams. Central government is not keen to be strict on landlords for fear of a rush for the exit triggering a HPC and local government are not keen because they can keep reeling in the council tax while crying crocodile tears for the homeless (who would get subsidised council tax while residing in the properties).

    In other countries, this is called corruption. In Britain it’s called public sector financing.

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  • These stats show the number of empties decreasing year on year in England since 1999.
    http://www.emptyhomes.com/resources/stats/statistics.html
    So, it’s either the case that yet another politician is being Liberal with the truth in order to grab headlines or Scotland, NI and Wales have rapidly escalating number of empties which overwhelm the year on year decreases in England. I suspect the former.

    700000 empty homes is still a shocking number but I suspect there are far fewer than that. What I’ve not been able to find out is if a Local Authority (from whom the stats are gleaned) uses reduced council tax payments to deem a second/weekend/holiday home to be empty, even if that may be for only four days a week or six months of the year. What is also a shame is that they’ve stopped reporting the number of homes empty for greater than 12 months. This, I believe, would be a more accurate reflection of empty dwellings as anything under that could be a temporary posting abroad (too short to bother letting the house) or a refurb.

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  • Don’t be fooled the little backwater of Warrington in Cheshire has 2000 empty new-build apartments for sale, most blocks that have been finished for over 12 months are still only 25% occupied. We are not talking commutersville here for London just an ordinary town with a bent council that has let local and national developers run riot in an attempt to get extra money out of central govt by trying to get city status.

    Anyway there are only so many people who want to live in an apartment with service charges of up to £2500 a year.

    Overdevelopment like this especially when its flats will result in big problems in the future especially when properties remain unsold/let, remember all those 60’s flats and communal developments and what happened to them. History repeating itself, this time by the private sector and not the public, albeit aided and abetted by.

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