Property News

One In Three Streets in UK have empty homes

Em Morley - May 6, 2015

An alarming report has indicated that one in three streets in the UK has one or more homes that have been unoccupied for at least six months.

The report from Nationwide has led the organisation to call on the next government to restore empty properties in order to ensure future occupation.


Leigh Pearce is chief executive of the Nationwide Foundation, a charity backed by grants designed to assist in bringing unoccupied houses back into use. Pearce believes that it is, ‘absurd that so many properties remain empty and decaying, while at the same time we have a housing supply crisis, with many people unable to find anywhere to live that they can afford.’[1]

In 2012, the £50m Empty Homes Community Grants Programme was introduced in England. As a result, this has led to nearly 2,000 properties across the country being restored to a livable standard by community groups. However, the programme came to an end in March and campaigners are worried that no alternative has been forthcoming.

One In Three Streets in UK have empty homes

One In Three Streets in UK have empty homes

New homes

Instead, all major political parties have outlined plans to build new houses. The Tories have pressed ahead with their Right-to Buy scheme, opening up the offer to housing association tenants, with a projected £1bn from house sales potentially funding 400,000 new properties. Meanwhile, Labour, the Lib Dems and UKIP have all pledged to construct a minimum of 200,000 homes per year should they come in power.

However, a recent survey from Knight Frank has indicated that just 9% of housebuilders feel that building 200,000 more homes per year is currently achievable.