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Empty homes and holiday homes totals on the rise - new figures

The number of long-term empty homes has risen in every region of the UK during 2022 according to new government figures.

The UK-wide total rose some 20,000 or eight per cent to 257,331 - the highest since 2011.

This excludes what are officially called ‘legitimate' or 'naturally occurring' empty homes for example about 120,000 empty as a result of the owners’ death.


Meanwhile an analysis of the same government data by the campaign group Action on Empty Homes shows that Cornwall still has the largest number of second homes in England, and the number continues to rise. 

Some 13,292 properties in Cornwall are classed as second homes; that’s up from the 2021 figure of 13,260.

These include holiday lets and AirBnBs as well as personal second homes used only by the owners.

Cornwall has the largest number of second homes of any local authority in England. 

Kensington & Chelsea has the next most at 7,492, followed by Camden with 7,125, Manchester with 6,360, Tower Hamlets with 6,135, and Dorset with 5,845.

Citizens Advice is calling for the provision of more quality temporary accommodation and greater use of empty homes and commercial properties.

Wailim Wong, research and campaign officer at the charity's Cornwall branch, says the current economic climate made the issue even more pressing.

He says: “Previous generations found it much easier to move out and move on when they were ready to leave the family home, but, for increasing numbers of people, this simply isn't an option.

"Rising mortgage rates and rents and lack of affordable properties are only making the situation even worse."


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