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THE NUMBER OF UNOCCUPIED HOMES IN THE UK EQUATES TO DOUBLE THE NUMBER NEEDED EACH YEAR TO SOLVE THE HOUSING CRISIS - SO WHY ARE THEY STILL EMPTY?

The Government have made many famous promises over the past few years regarding their plans to solve the UK housing crisis. In an effort to get Britain building, they set a target for 1 million new homes to be built by 2020, with a further 500,000 to follow by 2022 which equates to approximately 300,000 new homes needing to be built every single year.

Currently, the UK is operating at a much slower rate than necessary to hit these targets, with just over 160,000 new homes built in 2017 and just over 150,000 in 2016 which suggests that as a country we are far behind our building targets.

These building targets may continue to present house builders with difficulties until a number of other fundamental issues are solved, in particular the lack of suitable land available for residential development, planning restrictions, and a shortage of both skilled workers and materials. There is another short-term solution however which could go some way into helping alleviate some of the current pressure on the housing market.

New reports released this week state that there are a shocking 600,000 homes standing empty across the UK. That’s double the number of homes the country needs to be built each year in order to tackle the housing shortage. While some of these will undoubtedly be houses owned by overseas residents, holiday homes or homes that have fallen into disrepair, there will still be a large number suitable for residents right now that are still standing empty.

The biggest culprit for this is the North West, with the region boasting 102,847 empty homes, of which 38% have been empty for longer than six months. Liverpool has been named as the area with the largest concentration of empty homes, with 10,512 unoccupied in 2017. This is despite efforts by Liverpool City Council’s match making service which was designed to introduce buyers and sellers of empty homes in a bid to reduce the number of empty properties.

The South East also has a high concentration of empty homes, with 86,693 empty properties last year. Of this number, 29% have been stood empty for longer than six months. This may come as a surprise to some, with the South East being one of the most sought-after areas of the country due to easy access to the capital as well as the south coast and Europe.

While it is clear that the real solution to the housing shortage is to build more homes, it can’t be denied that utilising the number of empty homes across the UK would drastically reduce the numbers of people unable to get on the housing ladder or in desperate need of housing. In the meantime, at Intro Crowd, we give qualified investors the opportunity to collectively fund the purchase of strategic land sites via our bespoke online crowdfunding platform.

These sites are undeveloped greenfield sites and are not a part of the protected greenbelt. They are typically located next to an existing settlement with a defined need for new housing, and can often be found in the next logical place for development. The sites are sustainable in nature due to their proximity to crucial local amenities such as public transport, shops and schools, and are therefore often attractive to house builders. Our experienced planning team takes these sites through the planning process once fully funded, and if planning consent is given, aim to sell the sites on to a house builder for residential development. 

For more information on anything mentioned in the article above, or to find out more about Intro Crowd and how to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact us either via telephone on +44 (0)20 7118 4040 or email incrowd@introcrowd.com

This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This article does not amount to an invitation or inducement to buy or sell an investment nor does it solicit any such offer or invitation in any jurisdiction.

In all cases, readers should conduct their own investigation and analysis of the data in the article. Readers are strongly encouraged to seek independent legal and financial advice when considering an investment in strategic land. All statements of opinion and/or belief contained in this article and all views expressed and all projections, forecasts or statements relating to expectations regarding future events represent Intro Crowd’s own assessment and interpretation of information available as at the date of this article.

No responsibility or liability is accepted by Intro Crowd or Sapia Partners LLP for reliance on the contents of this article.

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