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The number of empty houses in London is through the roof
Aleem Yousaf (Flickr)

The number of empty houses in London is through the roof

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Cranes, scaffolding and hoardings advertising exclusive pads are a common sight around the city, but how many of these new builds actually become homes for the people who need them? Not many, according to new figures released on the number of unsold, empty buildings dotted around the city, which has now reached record levels.

Recently we brought you the news that house prices have risen by £105 a day in the last five years and if you’re thinking of flying solo you’ll need a whopping £40,000 to rent a tiny space. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear yet another unhappy housing story (though it’ll still make you swear loudly and cause tutting sounds as you weep into your cereal). The number of residential homes under construction and yet to find a buyer soared from 25,000 to 27,000 units by the end of 2016, according to data released by Molior London.

And all of that unsold property comes with a hefty price tag. A separate study by Composite Door Experts found that some 20,000 vacant homes around the city have a combined value of £11.7 billion (!). These are homes that have been empty for six months or longer. The biggest culprit for ghost-homes was the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which is harbouring 1,399 empty properties.  

All these numbers are even more shocking if you take into account the 227,549 households on housing waiting lists across London boroughs as of 2016. Around 800,000 more homes are needed by 2021 to meet housing demand. But at least all those oligarchs will have a roof (or five) over their heads, eh?

 

A borough by borough breakdown showing the number of empty homes and their value.
Source: Composite Door Experts

 

Photo: Aleem Yousaf/Flickr

In other news, could ‘naked homes’ help solve London’s housing crisis?

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