Research by Barrows and Forrester has found that despite a house price boom driven by heightened buyer demand and a lack of available stock, there is an estimated £200bn worth of property sat vacant across Britain’s housing market - up 2.1% on the previous year alone.
Barrows and Forrester analysed government data on the number of vacant dwellings across each area of the property market as well as the average value of these dwellings, to reveal just how much this dormant bricks and mortar is worth in current market conditions.
With 665,628 vacant dwellings, England is home to by far the highest total value, worth an estimated £190bn in the current market.
Regionally, London is home to the highest total value of all English regions, with 80,295 empty homes worth an estimated £41bn. The capital has also seen the largest annual increase in vacant dwellings stock, up 12% in the last year.
The South East and East of England also rank high, with an estimated £36.2bn and £22.9bn worth of vacant dwellings across their respective markets.
The North East is home to the lowest total value of vacant dwellings of all English regions, but even still, its 43,735 empty homes are estimated to be worth £6.5bn in current market conditions.
In Scotland, the total value of vacant dwellings sits at almost £8bn, while Wales is home to the lowest total value at £5.2bn.
Across Britain as a whole, the 735,095 homes believed to be sat dormant total an estimated market value of £2bn.
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:
“We currently find ourselves in the middle of a property market boom and huge levels of buyer demand and insufficient stock to satisfy this hunger for homeownership have pushed house prices to record highs.
While there’s arguably never been a better time to sell, there remains a huge number of homes sat empty across the nation and the value of these vacant properties is quite staggering, to say the least.
Of course, there will be varying reasons as to why these homes are empty but they could certainly go some way in addressing the current housing crisis and bringing a much needed stock boost to the market.”
Vacant dwellings data for England sourced from Gov.uk - Live tables on dwellings (2019 to 2020 - latest available data). Vacant dwellings data for Scotland and Wales sourced from StatsWales.gov - Dwellings and Gov.Scot - Housing statistics: Empty properties and second homes (2020 to 2021 - latest available)
House price data sourced from Gov.uk UK House Price Index - October 2021 (latest available)
Total value of vacant dwellings based on total vacant dwellings multiplied by the current average property value