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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

England’s empty homes crisis laid bare by new research

More than 600,000 homes remain empty across England, research carried out by quick sale site Good Move has revealed.

The study found that a third of empty homes are categorised as long-term vacant, having been unoccupied for over six months.

The most vacant properties are found in Liverpool, with the city home to 10,512 empty properties last year, even in spite of efforts by Liverpool City Council to reverse this trend. It attempted to cut the amount of vacant homes with a free matchmaking service to introduce buyers and sellers of empty homes, in turn bringing more of these dormant properties back into use.

Birmingham wasn’t far behind when it comes to the issue of empty properties, with 10,386 homes laying vacant – which accounts for 17% of the West Midlands’ total number of vacant homes.

The third highest number of empty homes was found in Leeds, with 10,263 properties laying vacant in the Yorkshire city. The number of empty properties in Leeds accounts for 14% of all the empty homes in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The list of the top five cities with the highest number of empty homes was completed by Durham and Bradford.

On a regional basis, the North West has the most vacant properties (102,847), with 38% of those being empty for more than six months. The South East wasn’t far behind, with some 86,693 empty properties recorded in 2017. Of these homes, 29% have been vacant for longer than six months.

The full Good Move study can be viewed here.

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    There is a three-bedroom family property in my local town which has been empty for at least 20 years. About five years ago I started contacting the council's Empty Homes Officer to try and negotiate either buying, leasing renting his property to bring it back into use. The officer had made contact with the owner a number times who claimed they were going to refurbish it and bring it back into use. All they did was install a small patio at the front and clear the garden-it still sits empty -What a waste. It appears the council have no bite in enforcing empty homes to be brought into use.

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