There are millions of homes lying unoccupied across the world as the rate of homelessness continues to soar, new research has revealed.
Japan has topped a list of the nations with the highest percentage of vacant homes, with 13.6 per cent of its dwellings not lived in.
An ageing population and a decline in birth rate mean that Japan’s population is currently declining and therefore housing demand is falling.
The second-home tax may also be putting people off inheriting any relatives’ properties, due to hefty fees.
Coming in second is Cyprus, home to 56,851 empty dwellings, which accounts for 1 in 8 homes on the Mediterranean island.
Many of the empty homes are located in the ‘ghost town’ of Varosha, a previous tourist hotspot that has since been abandoned after the country was invaded in 1974.
Hungary also has a high proportion of un-lived in homes, with 12.3 per cent of properties are currently unoccupied.
Like Japan, Hungary has both an ageing and declining population.
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Mortgage experts at money.co.uk analysed OECD data to reveal the countries where empty properties make up the biggest proportion of the total housing.
England ranked 20th in the study, with 225,845 empty homes across the country, which accounts for 0.90 per cent of properties.
However, England also has one of the highest homelessness rates in the world, with 289,800 people thought to be living on the street, a figure higher than the number of vacant houses.