Number of vacant homes falls, according to Halifax survey
According to the latest Halifax Empty Homes Survey, the number of private homes which have been empty for at least six months has fallen for the first time in three years.
The survey revealed there were 295,519 vacant homes in England in April 2010 – this represents a fall of 6% – down from the 316,056 in April 2009.
However, the Halifax highlighted that levels of deprivation, where unemployment is high, were typically higher in areas that had a high proportion of vacant properties.
The North West has the highest number (64,596), accounting for 22% of the total across England, said the Halifax.
The Halifax said the latest figures mean that 1.6% of all privately owned properties in England were empty.
Suren Thiru of the Halifax comments: “It is encouraging that the number of long-term empty private homes has fallen, reversing the increases recorded over the preceding two years.
“Nonetheless, it is concerning that the problem of empty homes remains substantial in a number of areas,” he added.
Properties are classed as being empty if they have been vacant for more than six months because they are between occupants, undergoing modernisation, in disrepair or awaiting demolition.