Spike in “buy-to-leave” homes in London’s commuter belt

The number of homes left long-term empty in London’s commuter belt has seen a spike despite a downward trend across the UK since 2010.

Analysis shows that fourteen of twenty local authorities that saw the largest percentage increases in vacant homes from 2015 to 2016 are in the South East.

Experts say that “buy-to-leave” investors are active in those areas. This phenomenon is used to describe properties that are left empty while the land’s value increases.

This week’s budget saw the government give new powers to charge a 100% council tax premium on empty homes.

Helen Williams, from the Empty Homes charity, said the announcement “recognised the importance of taking action, however it is unlikely to be a sufficient enough deterrent for some wealthy investor buyers”.


Full story available from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41968461


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