Statistics show that there are a growing number of vacant properties in the United Kingdom, even while the country is also in the midst of a homeless epidemic and housing shortage. There are a number of reasons why properties can be left empty for long periods of time, including financial or legal difficulties, and they may help to shed light on this growing trend in the UK housing market. Listed below in this post are 5 reasons why properties are left empty:
1. Landlords who choose to leave their Properties Empty
Some empty properties are wilfully left vacant by their owners for a number of reasons; this may be because of a lack of information or just a calculated gamble. While it may seem counter-productive to leave a property empty and deteriorating, some landlords may have genuine reasons for doing so, some of which are listed below:
- General neglect of a property no longer in use
- Property owners abandoning their homes in troublesome neighbourhoods
- Property owners who may be unaware of or unable to access the assistance available in order to make a home habitable.
2. Personal Circumstances
One of the biggest contributors to the national number of properties that are left empty in England is the personal circumstances of the homes’ owner. Personal circumstances that can lead to owners leaving their property vacant include homes left empty when elderly owners move into residential care, or those whose owners have passed away and the house is placed into probate.
3. Financial Reasons
The rise in property prices has meant that some people are now priced out of home ownership; the same issue also affects existing property owners whose financial shortfalls can leave them unable to repair, or maintain their property. By selling to vacant home specialists however, empty property owners can help others to find companies which will help to ease housing shortages.
4. Foreign Investors
The issue of wealthy foreign investors buying up property is not only unique to England, it is a worldwide issue that has come about because of increased global trade and investments as markets open up. Some of these investors are wealthy enough to wait for an upturn in the local housing market prices in a bid to maximise their profits.
5. Buy to Let/ Buy-to-Leave Landlords
The foreign investors mentioned in the reason above are responsible for a new phenomenon called buy-to-leave, whereby they are comfortable just holding the property as an investment or strategic business move. This is similar also to buy to let properties where a landlord may buy a home for letting out but is unable to fill the vacant property for an extended period of time.
In today’s housing market, the facts on the ground reveal a rise in properties that are left empty for long periods of time, depriving the market of much needed homes. The five reasons above shed some light on why some property owners end up in this position.