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Over 22,000 empty homes in London, new research finds

An ‘astonishing’ £10.7bn’s worth of properties are sitting empty in London, according to new research by HomeProtect on unoccupied homes.

The overall number of long-term unoccupied (6 months or more) properties in the capital grew by 2.8% between 2013 and 2018 to a total of 22,481, accounting for 0.63% of all properties in the city.

The boroughs of Southwark and Croydon are home to the most vacant dwellings in London, with 1,766 unoccupied properties in the former and 1,521 empty homes in the latter. Barking and Dagenham, by contrast, has the lowest number of unoccupied properties in the capital, with only 106 sitting empty.

Meanwhile, the City of London and Croydon have witnessed the largest growth in the number of unoccupied properties between 2013 and 2018, both rising by 81%. On the other hand, Westminster has seen the largest fall in the number of unoccupied properties, dropping by 394%.

Property expert Emily Evans believes that the rise of Airbnb has played a significant role in the growing number of empty properties in the capital.

“The government has made it difficult to be a landlord, so it isn’t that much of a lucrative market,” she said. “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.”

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