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Southwark the worst London borough for empty properties

Southwark had the highest number of empty homes of any London borough in 2023, with 5,143 properties sitting empty last year, analysis from SBA Property Management has revealed.

The combined value of these properties is estimated to be £2.77bn, which is the third highest of any London borough.

The borough has several top attractions like Borough Market and the Tate Modern, as well as plenty of options for restaurants and nightlife, all within walking distance of central London.

The other major offenders are Barnet, Camden, Croydon and Newham.

Collectively London’s empty homes could be worth £50bn, with a quarter of these sitting in the afore mentioned five boroughs.

Habib Mogul, director at SBA Property Management, said: “Empty homes continue to be a major obstacle for London’s housing supply, but we have recently seen an increase in efforts to get vacant properties back on the market and unlock the £50 billion tied up in empty homes across the city.

“Local councils will soon be able to impose heavier premiums on properties that have been vacant for a year or more and there may be more regulatory changes to come.

“It will be interesting to monitor the impact of these changes. Should they succeed in encouraging owners of long-term vacant properties to sell or rent, there may be lots of opportunities for property investors and property managers.”

Barnet is known as being in the middle ground between central London and Hertfordshire countryside. In the area regeneration schemes like Brent Cross Cricklewood are helping to create new jobs, bringing more people to the borough and creating opportunities for investors.

Camden’s vacant properties are valued at an estimated £3.5bn, which is second only to Kensington and Chelsea (£4.2bn) among all London boroughs. A hotspot for locals and tourists alike, Camden has some of the highest house prices of any London borough. Along with Camden Market, the borough boasts leading live music venues in the form of KOKO and Roundhouse. For an inner London borough, Camden also offers ample green space with Regent’s Park on its doorstep, making it a highly desirable place to live.

The outer borough of Croydon had the fourth-highest number of empty homes in London with 3,946 vacant dwellings recorded in 2023. Known as a commuter hub, Croydon offers excellent transport link with four rail stations and quick access to central London, Gatwick Airport and the M25. Investors can also benefit from plenty of green space, great shopping facilities and a thriving food and drink scene with venues like BOXPARK.

With 3,812 vacant dwellings, Newham ranks fifth in the list of London boroughs with the highest number of empty homes in 2023. The borough has benefitted from considerable investment in the last 15 years, most notably from the 2012 Olympic Games. It also offers easy access to the Thames and a short commute to central London, making it a convenient place to live.