Vacant homes in London probably isn't news to you. Big houses with no one in them have become quite a common sight in London. But while we knew vacant homes were a problem, we weren't aware of the scale to which this was happening. As it stands an estimated £15 billion worth of homes currently sit empty. That's a lot of zeroes. To put it into the perspective, that's more than the entire GDP of Jamaica ($14.78 billion).
A study conducted by Admiral Insurance found that Camden was the chief offender in terms of value, 1,445 homes sit empty with a collective value of £1,156,000,000. Southwark actually has the most empty homes (2358) but the average value is considerably less. The study also found that 'the City of London has the highest proportion of long-term empty houses in Britain,' which is strange for a city that so many choose to live in for work, pleasure and family.
Neil Summerfield, Head of Home Insurance at Admiral stated “It is, of course, worrying to see that so many houses are sitting empty and unused across the country, especially as in 2020, more than a quarter of a million people in England alone were placed in temporary accommodation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic." From foreign investors, rising rents and people fleeing the capital for a quieter life, the truth is no one factor is responsible.
The full study can be read here.
London Living: this fire station is home to 17 flats
How pod houses are providing a way out of homelessness