Govt 'must act over empty homes'
The government must take action to address the problem of empty
homes across the UK, it has been claimed.
According to figures from Halifax, there are 288,763 unoccupied
homes across the UK - accounting for 1.6 per cent of the country's
The problem is especially prevalent in Manchester and Liverpool,
where 5.7 per cent and five per cent of the cities' privately owned
properties are out of use.
And, despite the fact that the numbers of these homes are falling
in the long-term across the country, action is still needed in many
areas, chief economist at Halifax Martin Ellis said.
"It is encouraging the number of empty homes in England has fallen
by nearly 20,000 over the past three years, but it is also notable
that the problem has become worse in many areas with the highest
number of empty homes.
"Rising property prices encourage the rejuvenation of empty homes
in many parts of England. However, it is clear that intervention is
He added: "We would like the government to extend the five per cent
rate of VAT for renovating an empty home to all properties vacant
for more than six months, not just those properties that have been
unoccupied for more than two years."