There are more than 10,000 empty homes in Lancashire, according to new figures.
Burnley has the highest proportion of vacant homes in the county, with 23.9 in every 1,000 homes sitting empty for at least six months. Pendle ranks second (21.5 in 1,000), followed by Blackpool (20.9 in 1,000). All of these areas rank in the top 10 nationally, with the City of London topping the list with 37.8 of every thousand homes sitting empty.
Wyre is at the opposite end of the table and has the smallest proportion of long-term vacant homes in Lancashire (2.7 in 1,000).
The figures come from insurance company Admiral, which has combined government figures with freedom of information requests to local authorities, to reveal where the empty homes crisis is most severe.
The results also show how many of these homes have sat empty for a long time, with 62 homes in Blackburn with Darwen sitting empty for over 10 years, followed close behind by Burnley (57 homes).
Preston was third on the list (44), followed by Blackpool (43), Chorley (35) and Lancaster (29).
Using the median house price for each district, Admiral also estimated where longer-term vacancies are collectively worth the most money. In Preston, homes worth more than £197,000,000 have been empty for two to four years, while in Blackpool that figure is £46,808,250, and in Lancaster it is £22,350,000.
In 2018, there were 2,535 vacant homes listed for demolition across Great Britain.
In relation, a bill released in October 2018, saw that all local authorities in England have the power to charge dwellings that have been empty for at least two-years, an extra 50 per cent on their council tax bill, and more recently (from April 2019), an increase to 100 per cent.
Noel Summerfield, head of home insurance at Admiral, said: “After seeing reports that the number of empty homes in England had increased in recent years, we decided to look at where housing stocks were being mostly underused by analysing and ranking the proportion of long-term vacancies across councils in England, Scotland and Wales.
“After compiling freedom of information requests that we sent to councils around the UK, and analysing the most recent government figures, we found that despite England having the highest total of long-term vacant homes, it is in fact Wales that has the highest proportion, with 20 in every 1,000 homes sitting empty for six months or longer. Similarly, Scotland has the second highest proportion across Great Britain*.
“On a regional level, we found that Cornwall has the highest proportion of longer-term vacancies in England, with 25.8 in 1,000 homes vacant for over 10-years. Overall, in London, where housing is at a real premium, the City of London has the highest proportion of vacancies of any borough, followed by Southwark, and Kensington and Chelsea.”
You can view all the data on Admiral’s website at www.admiral.com/multicover-insurance/home-alone.