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Dramatic Fall In Number Of Empty UK Properties

Dramatic Fall In Number Of Empty UK Properties

UK Empty Property Numbers At All-Time Low

According to campaigning charity Empty Homes, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of empty residential properties in the UK.

The new research shows that the number of empty residential properties in the UK dropped by 75,000 during 2013, the largest-ever annual fall in numbers.

The substantial fall has reduced the total number of empty properties in the UK to 635,127, the lowest recorded level ever, according to campaigning charity Empty Homes.

The biggest falls in the number of empty properties were observed in the North West of England and London.

There was also a large fall in the number of long-term empty residential properties, with figures dropping by over 27,000 to a new record low of 232,600.

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Funding Boost For Government Build-To-Rent Plans

Funding Boost For Government Build-To-Rent Plans

Finance Secured To Build Thousands Of
Affordable Properties For Rental Purposes

Government housing minister Kris Hopkins has welcomed a deal that will release £500 Million (GBP) of additional funding to build new affordable residential properties in the UK.

The new investment finance has been secured through an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB), that will help deliver up to 4,300 new and affordable homes to rent in areas of the UK.

The funding is set to form part of the £3.5 Billion (GBP) Affordable Housing Guarantees programme, which enables housing associations to use Government guarantees to secure private investment at more competitive rates than they would otherwise be able to secure.

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Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Fracking Concerns Ignored By Local Authorities And Government

There is a great deal of speculation and controversy surrounding the latest methods for extracting natural gas from under our feet, a process known as “Fracking” where a toxic mixture of chemicals are pumped into well heads to release gases trapped in the underlying bedrock.

The process is designed to fracture the rock strata, allowing gas to escape and rise to the surface and the controversial method is already being exploited widely in some states in the USA, with alarming results. Minor earth tremors are being caused and ground water is becoming saturated with methane and other flammable gases and some residents living near the remote drilling sites have to rely on bottled supplies to be able to drink and water cattle, however the companies controlling the drilling are happy to pay people off and ignore what they are being told.

Here in the UK, gas companies have identified potential sites that they reckon hold enough natural gas reserves to last for the next 30-40 years, unfortunately these areas are also heavily populated, not like in the USA.

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Empty Property Rates - £1.1 Billion Tax Bombshell

Empty Property Rates – £1.1 Billion Tax Bombshell

The taxpayers Alliance have reported that a massive £1.1 Billion (GBP) was paid last year in Business Rates on empty properties, a rise of 19% between 2009/10 and 2011/12

This is the first time that a figure has been calculated for the amount collected in empty property rates since exemptions for empty commercial and industrial properties were abolished at the 2007 Budget.

Before 2007, empty industrial properties were exempt from Business Rates and empty commercial properties were subject to extensive reliefs and reductions.

Apart from a short exemption period and extremely limited reliefs, full Business Rates are now payable on all empty commercial and industrial properties.

With the economic downturn making it increasingly difficult for commercial landlords to find new tenants, this tax has had some devastating effects:

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Almost 40%, (four in ten) properties in the UK Private Rented Sector, (PRS),  have Buy-To-Let mortgages on them.

The estimate was made by Communities and Local Government (CLG) minister Andrew Stunell in response to a question from campaigning Labour MP Graham Jones asking about “The effects of buy-to-let mortgages on the size of the private rented sector”.

Stunell replied: “Based on data drawn from the English Housing Survey for 2010/11 and the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, (CML), we estimate that buy-to-let mortgages currently support some 39% of private rented sector stock. The Government’s Housing Strategy outlines our support for a thriving private rented sector, (PRS), as well as taking a series of measures to build more affordable homes and support home ownership.”

Graham Jones has repeatedly called on the Government to tackle the problem of rogue landlords.

Mr Jones is the MP for Hyndburn in Lancashire, whose council is currently making a second attempt to regulate private landlords by introducing selective licensing.

The authority’s first attempt was blocked when a legal challenge by a collective of landlords was upheld by the courts

North West Leads UK Property Investment Revival.

Property sales in towns in the North West and the North East have increased significantly over the first six months of 2011 according to new research from the Halifax, (a division of Bank of Scotland).

The North West is home to 3 of the top 4 areas that have witnessed the largest rises in residential property purchases in 2011. The North East Town of Houghton-Le-Spring is the other area to emerge as a leading property hotspot, growing in popularity with property investors.

The Top Property Areas So Far In 2011 are:

  • Leigh, Lancashire
  • Rugeley, Staffordshire
  • Houghton Le Spring, Co Durham
  • Bury, Lancashire

Bury in Lancashire has experienced a 44% jump in property sales so far in 2011 and is currently the top residential dwelling sales hotspot in the UK.

Suren Thiru, Senior Housing Economist at Halifax, said: “Many of the top performing towns are in the North, reflecting a reversal of 2010 when the housing market in Southern England outperformed the North. A number of locations in England and Wales have seen marked rises in property sales of late, the housing market in these areas has been helped by favourable levels of affordability”.

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