Making use of London’s empty properties could combat the climate crisis

Putting the 22,481 unoccupied properties in London to use could help combat both the housing and climate crisis, according to new research by HomeProtect and estate agent Emily Evans. 

Between 2013 and 2018 there was an increase of 2.8% in the number of unoccupied properties in London, meaning that unoccupied properties now account for 0.63% of all properties in the city.

With the average house price in London currently at £477,813, they have valued the total of unoccupied properties at £10.7bn.

The most vacant areas are located in Southwark and Croyden, with nearly one in ten houses are sitting empty in Southwark and the number of unoccupied properties in Croyden having risen by 81% since 2013.

There is £1.5bn worth of unoccupied properties in Kensington and Chelsea alone.

Emily Evans explains: ‘The government has made it difficult to be a landlord, so it isn’t that much of a lucrative market.’

‘Landlords are now selling up or choosing to adopt the Airb&b holiday home model over a traditional residential let.’

‘Multi-millionaires will buy these properties purely just for it to be held as an investment.’

‘Driving around boroughs like Kensington at night gives me great sadness, so many of the houses lights aren’t on, streets and streets of houses are dark.’

Rosalind Readhead, environmental campaigner and independent London Mayoral Candidate for 2020, said: ‘Upfront Carbon Emissions are released in the making of materials, moving them and turning them into stuff.’

‘It takes over 50 tonnes of CO2 to build an average UK house.’

‘Building thousands of new homes a year in London will not solve the housing crisis, and will quickly burn through our carbon budget.’

‘New homes are sold abroad as investments and left largely empty while fewer and fewer young people can afford to buy or rent in the city.’

‘Many properties are bought by wealthy buyers who snap up homes as investments and leave them empty while waiting for the value to increase before selling them on and tighter squatting laws has made it more difficult for local residents, and young people, to make use of empty properties.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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