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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

UK’s regeneration hotspots revealed – and it’s Birmingham out in front

Birmingham has been revealed as the council area with the most opportunities for regeneration for investment of empty residential and commercial properties.

Fibre broadband specialist Glide made a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to local councils to discover the number of empty dwellings and commercial properties across the UK.  

Altogether, across both categories of building, there were 617,527 empty buildings across the UK in the month of September.

Of those councils which held the information, Birmingham was unveiled as the leading council area for the most potential space. Some 8,086 residential properties and 7,622 commercial buildings in the city and its suburbs are currently empty. 

Taking second place was Liverpool, where in total 15,339 buildings are currently unoccupied, while regions across the north dominate the top five, with Manchester, Leeds and Bradford also ranking highly.

Bradford has the highest number of commercial properties currently empty, with 7,908 business premises currently unoccupied in the West Yorkshire city, which means that 4.5% of all empty commercial properties in the UK are located in that council area. Birmingham, Leeds (4,528) and Liverpool all have high numbers of commercial properties empty, with the FOI requests finding that there are a total of 172,217 empty business units across the UK.

While many of these could be reused for commercial purposes, to regenerate struggling high streets, they may also be ripe for conversion into residential and represent a huge potential for investment, especially in regions and cities that have suffered most from recent (and longer-term) political and economic uncertainty.

Liverpool, meanwhile, has the highest number of empty residential properties, with 11,073 sitting unoccupied. Overall, Glide’s study revealed that there are 448,246 empty dwellings in the residential sector across the country - and that the top five cities account for 10% of the total number of vacant homes. This comes at a time when it’s widely accepted that Britain is going through a housing crisis, particularly in major cities.

Jason Lloyd, head of residential at Glide, said: “The research has revealed the high number of empty properties and businesses across the UK, particularly across some of the major northern council areas. 

“But whilst it is troubling to see so much wasted residential and commercial space, it does represent a clear opportunity for developers, and hopefully this study will help prospective investors pinpoint where there is the most potential for growth.”

Here at Property Investor Today, we have witnessed first-hand the appeal of Birmingham, the UK’s second city, among developers and investors. It was recently revealed as the top buy-to-let location for 2020 in research by SevenCapital, while a number of schemes have sold out before completion.

We have also explored a wide range of regeneration projects in London through our London regeneration series, from Battersea Power Station to Meridian Water, analysed the regeneration effect, asked whether regeneration schemes need to consider their cultural responsibilities and explored why the transformation of major cities must leave a positive legacy. 

There is a high chance this focus on regeneration, and an increasing desire to make use of empty properties, will feature prominently in 2020 and beyond.

You can see the full results of the Glide study in the table below.

   

Empty residential properties

Empty commercial properties 

Total

1

Birmingham City Council

8086

7622

15,708

2

Liverpool City Council

11073

4266

15,339

3

Manchester City Council

10531

4003

14,534

4

Leeds City Council

8331

4528

12,859

5

Bradford Metropolitan Council

2610

7908

10,518

6

Durham County Council

7330

1573

8,903

7

Bristol City Council

6403

1742

8,145

8

Cheshire West and Chester

5860

1897

7,757

9

Sheffield City Council

5063

2610

7,673

10

Cornwall Council

5795

1662

7,457

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