According to research by the Liberal Democrats, figures from 276 local councils have revealed there are more than 216,000 homes across the UK that have been empty for six months or more. Furthermore, 60,000 properties have been empty for the last two years, 23,000 for five years, and there are 11,000 properties that have been empty for 10 years or more.
The areas with the highest number of empty homes include:
- Durham – 6,500
- Leeds – 5,724
- Bradford – 4,144
- Cornwall – 3,273
- Liverpool – 3,093
The research also found that councils are not utilising Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) which allow English and Welsh councils to take over residential properties that have been empty for six months or more. In fact, just 18 out of the 247 councils that responded to the Freedom of Information request had used an EDMO in the past five years.
However, if these abandoned properties were for sale, would they provide a good opportunity for developers?
Does This Provide Developers with Opportunities?
If councils are not utilising EDMOs and properties are left empty, they will likely become tatty and degrade with time. However, if they were sold, they could be rejuvenated and do their bit to fight the growing UK housing shortage.
So, purchasing one of these long-forgotten properties and doing it up could be a great moral win, but is it a financially sound idea? Well, that greatly depends on the property in question.
If a property is relatively structurally sound then it may prove more affordable to simply renovate it and stick it on the market. This could include anything from a lick of paint to a two-storey extension depending on the budget you have, the size of the plot, and the types of properties which prove popular in the area.
However, if it is obvious the property has some major issues, it may simply make more financial sense to seek planning permission and tear down the existing property to create a building plot.
You may be able to fit multiple new homes on the same plot of the old home.