The housing market in London has seen a slow but steady decline in the last year. But while values tank and even bargain hunters are feeling cash-strapped, a bigger problem lies in the nearly 85,000 homes that are lying empty.
The Empty Homes Agency reports that while there are 330,000 families on council waiting lists for housing, tens of thousands of homes are lying dormant, derelict or otherwise abandoned. Of these, 17,000 are owned by coucils, including 1,000 flats on the nearly derelict Ferrier estate in Kidbrooke, which is ‘planned for redevelopment.’
Boris is currently working on a plan to invest £5bn in a housing solution, including buying back long-vacant properties. A rep from EHA has called this ‘unambitious,’ but it’s a start. And given the less than cheery economic outlook, let’s hope more effort goes to refurbishing what’s standing instead of building new homes.
Image courtesy of Simon-K via the Londonist Flickrpool.