Julian Mercer analyses the misguided policy of successive governments of building too many new houses, but not creating any more homes
‘The weakness of the ‘build, build, build’ policy is that the number of empty homes keeps rising. But where are they?
Last year, the MHCLG reported that there were 650,000 empty homes in England. Just over a third were classified as long-term empty, vacant for more than six months and often derelict. Some are so-called ‘buy to leave’ properties, especially in London’s inflationary housing market where foreign investors make handsome returns from simply leaving the place empty. “Gold bullion in the sky,” said Boris Johnson while mayor of the capital. Tom Crowley, chair of the charity Action on Empty Homes (AEH), is less impressed: “We see high levels of empty property starting to emerge in areas with very high levels of housing demand”.’
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Julian Mercer Byline Times 25th November 2020