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20 December 2010

Fewer long-term empty private homes

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by Gill Montia

Fewer long-term empty private homes

The number of long-term empty private homes in England has fallen for the first time in three years, according to the latest annual Empty Homes survey from Halifax.

As at April 2010, 295,519 homes had been vacant for more than six months, down 6% from a year earlier to the lowest level since 2007.

Empty dwellings accounted for 1.6% of all private homes in England, with the study exposing a significant north/south divide: 61% in the North, whereas in all southern regions the empty homes rate was below the national average of 1.6%.

In the 16 areas where the proportion was at least double the national average, house prices were 29% cheaper and typical earnings 14% down.

Other key findings of the research include:

Yorkshire & Humber has seen the most marked fall in long-term empty private homes over the past year, followed by the West Midlands. The South West experienced the largest rise.

Turning to specific locations, Tower Hamlets has the highest proportion of empty private homes in England, followed by Pendle, Liverpool and Kingston upon Hull.

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