Property Reporter website highlights evidence that the number of empty homes grew between October 2017 and October 2018 by nearly 30,000 to stand at some 634,000 properties.
Of these those defined as empty for six months or more increased by more than 10,000 to total 216,000 in October 2018.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has identified a dwindling supply of homes to let coming onto the market, despite the sharp increase in tenant demand.
In response to the continued housing crisis, the Residential Landlord’s Association (RLA) has called for the government to provide pro-growth tax measures to encourage bringing empty homes back into use. Specifically they are asking for the government’s additional stamp duty levy on the purchase of new homes to let to be scrapped.
The RLA argue that this will encourage landlords to invest in long term empty homes, bringing them back into use.
RLA Policy Manager, John Stewart, is quoted as saying “The scandal of empty homes at a time when so many are finding it difficult to access accommodation is just one reason why pro-growth tax is needed. The government should support good landlords to do what they have always been good at – investing in property and bringing it back into long term use.”