This London borough has the most empty properties

Everyone knows that finding somewhere to live in London is an absolute nightmare, to put it lightly. After countless calls to letting agents to book viewings for flats out of your budget, restless mornings refreshing Rightmove, and a deposit that is half your annual salary, you’re lucky if you find somewhere with only minimal amounts of damp. 

London’s housing crisis is caused by lack of available places for people to go, so obviously it makes sense that there are over 5,000 properties currently completely empty – and that’s only in one borough.

Research done by SBA Property Management found that Southwark is the worst London borough for vacant homes, with a grand total of 5,143 houses filled with nothing but air. 

Across the entire city, the company estimates that London’s empty housing stock could be worth somewhere in the region of £50 billion. No, your eyes do not deceive you. That’s ‘billion’ with a b. That’s a lot of money to be tied up in places that are of no use to anyone at the moment. 

Barnet, Camden, Croydon, and Newham are all apparently also full of completely uninhabited spaces, with the four of them plus Southwark accounting for over a quarter of the city’s deserted homes. According to Habib Mogul, who is SBA’s director, these are a big problem for London at the moment – but things are looking slightly up.

‘Local councils will soon be able to impose heavier premiums on properties that have been vacant for a year or more and there may be more regulatory changes to come,’ said Mogul. He hopes that these tariffs will encourage the owners of these properties to sell up, creating ‘lots of opportunities for property investors and property managers’. 

Which is, well, still not exactly great news for any regular people who aren’t landlords and don’t want to be – or for any of London’s 10,000 rough sleepers. What a time to be a Londoner, eh?

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