Published: 13th Feb 2019

An empty homes tax could generate £1.2bn a year for local authorities, reduce demand from foreign investors and increase housing affordability, a study suggests. Researcher Jonathan Bourne at University College London investigated the relationship between ‘low use’ properties (homes that don’t have a permanent resident) and housing affordability in different parts of England and Wales. His findings are published today (February 13) in the journal Palgrave Communications. The researcher collected data from 112 local authorities, representing 32% of total local authorities in England and Wales, and covering 40% of the population of England and Wales (23.2 million people). This data included 340,000 low-use properties. Analysis revealed that low-use properties were worth £363,000 on average, which is 18.5% more expensive than the average home (£306,000). Bourne also aimed to identify areas that could be responsive to one of two ways of reducing house prices; increasing the supply of housing, or decreasing property … (To read the full article, subscribe below)