Hertfordshire has nearly £1bn worth of vacant homes
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There are 2,475 long-term vacant properties in Hertfordshire with a combined value of £976.5m.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, however: according to property investment marketplace, Property Partner, there are £43bn worth of empty homes throughout England – a total of 200,145 properties.
Property Partner analysed the latest data from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), looking at long-term vacant dwellings in England between 2005 and 2016.
The number of such homes in Hertfordshire has fallen in the past decade, down from 3,746 in 2006. But after dropping to 2,087 in 2015, the figure increased again to 2,475 in 2016.
Property Partner used the average property price in Hertfordshire - £394,534, according to Land Registry data – to arrive at the £976.5m figure.
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The number of local authority owned empty homes in the county stood at 265 last year, down from 691 in 2006 (but up slightly on 2015’s figure of 256).
Not surprisingly, London has England’s highest number of empty homes - 19,845 were vacant for over six months in 2016, equalling £9.4bn worth of property.
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Dan Gandesha, CEO of Property Partner, said: “These figures lay bare the huge amount of housing stock lying empty across the country.
“Councils have had the power to apply to seize empty homes since 2006 and huge advances have been made over the last 10 years.
“Dealing with this issue represents a fantastic opportunity to free up supply and help alleviate the scarcity of affordable housing nationally.
“We’d like to see the trend of the last decade continue, particularly where prices and demand are highest.
“Tackling empty homes is one of the ways Britain can fix its broken housing market.”