A shocking £10.7 billion-worth of London housing is sitting empty, new research has found.
According to a study of properties across Greater London some 22,481 homes are currently empty, despite a growing housing crisis.
Since 1990 the proportion of 25 to 34 year-olds owning their own home in London has plunged from 57 per cent to 28 per cent.
In June 1994 the average cost of a home in London stood at just £73,013, compared with £471,504 today, resulting in “generation rent” for many young residents.
Research by Pocket Living found one in six renters in the capital say they are depressed about being trapped in rental accommodation, with 70 per cent of young renters adding that the stress of trying to get on the housing ladder has harmed their mental health.
And the number of unoccupied houses could well be fuelling the crisis.
There was a 2.8 per cent increase in the number of unoccupied properties in London between 2013-2018, new research by HomeProtect has revealed.
The most vacant dwellings in London are located in Southwark and Croydon, with 1,766 and 1,521 unoccupied properties respectively.
Barking and Dagenham has the lowest number of unoccupied properties in London, with just 106 sitting empty
The City of London and Croydon have seen the largest increase in the number of unoccupied properties between 2013 and 2018, both rising by 81 per cent.
There is £1.5 billion-worth of empty homes in Kensington and Chelsea alone.
£1.5 billion-worth of empty homes in Kensington and Chelsea alone
Property expert, Emily Evans, explains that the rise of AirBnB has played a large role in the growing number of empty properties in the capital:
“The Government have made it difficult to be a landlord, so it isn’t that much of a lucrative market.
“Landlords are now selling up or choosing to adopt the ‘AirBnB’ holiday home model, over a traditional residential let.
“Southwark especially has a lot of part-time homes and AirBnBs.
“However, further south in Southwark is classed as more of an ‘up and coming’ area, meaning a lot of properties will be being bought and renovated.”
There are 1,115 empty homes in Kensington and Chelsea, which have a combined value of over a billion pounds.
The empty homes in Camden have a combined value of £1.1 billion, with 1,210 unoccupied properties in the borough
Southwark has approximately £877 million’s worth of empty properties, based on an average house price of £496,612 in the borough
With a high average property value in these areas, Evans explains that this could be accountable to what the authority calls ‘buy-to-leave’:
“Multi-millionaires will buy these properties purely just for it to be held as an investment.
“Driving around boroughs like Kensington at night gives me great sadness.
“So many of the houses’ lights aren’t on – streets and streets of houses are dark! Not only is this terrible that so many properties are empty, but people living in those areas have a real lack of community.
“Something that I feel is so important to us as people.”