About 1.5 million homes in the UK are empty – Idealista/news

About 5.5% of housing stock in England and Wales is “virtually unoccupied”, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. This is equivalent to about 1.5 million homesWhile another 172,800 units were classified as second homes.

And according to some experts, this census data suggests so Real estate developers and multi-owners They hold properties that they do not occupy, which calls into question the tax system, as taxes on housing are relatively light compared to the initial costs.

“Instead of having the kind of ongoing tax on house values ​​that might discourage people from leaving their homes empty, we have a transaction tax (so-called stamp duty) that discourages transactions,” he says. Andrew Wishart is chief real estate economist at Capital Economics.

London has 8% of total homes unoccupiedThis is the highest percentage between England and Wales. 91.6% of them were unoccupied and only 8.4% lived in second homes.

The expert believes that “something could be done regarding taxes that would make this type of asset hoarding more expensive. It could foster an increase in housing construction.”

The data from the UK Office of Statistics (ONS) is based on information from the 2021 Census. They stress that behaviors during the Covid-19 pandemic can have an impact, as was the case when some people left cities such as London to stay with relatives during this period. However, the ONS confirms that it asked people where they “usually” live.

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