20 Dec

Number of homes left empty has fallen, survey reveals

Number of homes left empty has fallen, survey reveals

Estate agents have been shown to have done a good job over the last year at filling properties quickly, as the number of long-term empty houses has dropped during this period.

The Halifax Empty Homes survey has found that in April 2010, there were 295,519 properties that had been vacant in England for more than six months.

This is a drop of 20,537 from April 2009's figures of 316,056.

Housing economist at the financial services provider Suren Thiru said that the decline of six per cent in the number of long-term empty properties over the 12-month period is "encouraging".

He stated that this has "[reversed] the increases recorded over the preceding two years", with Halifax reporting that the drop is the first fall since 2007.

The survey revealed that 61 per cent of the vacant properties are in the north of England and the problem remains greater in areas where earnings are lower and unemployment is higher.

This is despite Halifax revealing in its House Price Index for November 2010 that property prices fell by 0.1 per cent over the month. ADNFCR-1222-ID-800302024-ADNFCR

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