Fewer homes are now being left empty around the UK

Fewer homes are now being left empty around the UK [Photo: Courtney Keating via iStock]

More empty homes around the UK are now being brought back into circulation rather than being left empty or in a state of disrepair, according to figures released this week by the government. 

In previous years, homes had been left empty because investors buy up stock that they then cannot let out, so they leave them empty, waiting for capital gains to kick in over a number of years. However, the strength of the rental market and the demand that exists in this area of the property market has meant that more investors are now getting their homes ready for tenants and actually bringing them to market. 

The figures that were released this week by the government show that there has been a fall of more than a third in the last decade when it comes to empty homes, with the volume falling from 318,642 in 2004 to 203,596 in 2015. This has taken the number of properties left without a resident to the lowest level ever recorded, the government claim. 

"We are turning around the housing market and making sure the best use is made of all housing including empty homes. We are very clear that a house should be a home which is why we have taken action to stop homes being bought up and left as an empty investment," said housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis. 

"And we’ve taking forward the boldest ambition for housing in a generation, doubling the budget so we can help a million more people into home ownership, while delivering a bigger, and better private rental sector," he added. 

The government also said that its plan to grow the number of homeowners that exist around the UK is taking shape, largely thanks to the introduction of more new homes. In the past 12 months, the data showed, there was a rise of more than a quarter in the volume of new homes coming to market, which is the highest rise seen for almost 30 years.