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25,701 homes worth £4 billion sit vacant across Wales, new research reveals

29 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
Terraced housing in the Rhondda Valley. Picture by Ian James (CC BY 2.0)

New research has revealed that a staggering 25,701 homes worth £4 billion sit vacant across Wales.

Admiral has analysed government and local council data obtained through Freedom of Information requests to investigate where in Wales the most homes have been sitting empty and unused for the longest periods of time.

The insurance provider found that there are currently 25,701 homes across Wales that have been vacant for at least six months, which is equivalent to 17.9 in every 1,000 houses. Collectively, these homes have a value of £4,240,665,000.

Carmarthenshire has the highest proportion of long-term empty homes in Wales with 32.2 per 1,000 houses sitting vacant.

According to the government definition, a long-term vacant house is one that has been empty for at least six months.

The collective value of longer-term (more than 2 years) vacancies in Wales stands at £767.1 million (2-4 years), £334.8 million (5-9 years) and £189.6 million (10+ years) respectively.

Rhondda Cynon Taf has the highest number of longer-term (more than 1 year) vacant houses in Wales.

In fact, Rhondda Cynon Taf has the highest number of empty houses that have stood unused for 2-4 years, 5-9 years and more than 10 years.

The value of empty houses there are £164,220,000 (2-4 years), £75,555,000 (5-9 years) and £26,105,000 (10+) respectively, or £118,082,000 in total.

In response to the research, Welsh Conservative housing spokesperson, Janet Finch Saunders MS said: “Over the past decade, successive Labour Governments in Cardiff Bay have made promise after promise to address the housing crisis in Wales but have failed to deliver.

“We’ve always said that the real crisis in Wales isn’t second homes, but empty homes and this report only backs that up further.

“We want to see real action being taken by the Welsh Labour government to a grip on their self-made housing crisis. People across the country deserve access to affordable, good housing. That appears to be pipe-dream under Welsh Labour. ”

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DarkMrakeford
DarkMrakeford
1 month ago

Ah so that’s where the homes are, the population has barely changed in Wales yet we have more homeless and less home owners.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
1 month ago

The Conservative housing spokesperson is quoted above as saying “We’ve always said that the real crisis in Wales isn’t second homes, but empty homes…”

So, Conservatives, let me guess: you want to provide relocation grants so that unhoused people in the N & W can move to Rhondda Cynon Taf and provide much-needed labour for the coal mines. If only people had the sense to vote for you!

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

Second homes are empty homes most of the time

Anthony
Anthony
1 month ago

That’s OK because we’re going to be building thousands new houses all over our ancient sites in Wales so that we destroy our history and make sure we never remember our prestigious past.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago

Average price £155,636.
NC shows houses currently averaging about £80,000

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

That illustrates that the market is far from perfect. A huge dislocation between supply and demand. People bawl on about “new build, new build”. I accept that we have a need for new stock but we also need a coherent policy for modernisation and refurbishment of ageing stock. It may be the case in some streets that 2 should be turned into one bigger residence for a larger family unit. Planning permission for extensions and other changes should be used positively to drive supply and reduce the mismatch that currently exists. Just churning up even more green space when there… Read more »

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Public bodies do have a coherent policy, the Welsh Housing Quality Standards.
The NEST/Warm Homes scheme goes some way in the private sector.

Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
1 month ago

I walked down about 1/2 of the main street of Trawsfynydd this week. On the west side of the road I counted 16 key safe’s out of 35 properties. Some may have been out of sight, but that is about 1/2 of the properties as holiday rentals (unless there is common a use for a key safe I am not aware of). Trawsfynydd is probably at the extreme end, but I am guessing its not the community it was 20 or even 10 years ago. It may be we have different types housing problems in different parts of Wales and… Read more »

Mr Stewart C
Mr Stewart C
1 month ago

Keysafes are often used as a backup access for carers to get to their elderly clients.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Methinks the lady doth protest too much. As a somewhat older lady she surely remembers Thatcher destroying the jobs and communities of RCT? Or perhaps she is too busy running her property portfolio?
Finch-Saunders owns 7 residential and 4 retail properties and is a trustee of a further two residential properties in Llandudno.”

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

So the tories say “We’ve always said that the real crisis in Wales isn’t second homes, but empty homes and this report only backs that up further.”

Are the tories suggesting that empty homes should be taken over by government and used as social housing? If they are then fine, but I don’t believe the tories would ever do this.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

They aren’t in power………….Labour (-ing at what?) are.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

I’ll start saving up.

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