The number of empty homes across Kent has risen for the third consecutive year to more than 5,300, the highest level since 2012, according to official figures.
The number of long term vacant properties – those empty for at least six months – across all 12 Kent districts has risen by 7% to 5,370 in the 12 months to October, according to the latest figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Housing Community & Local Government.
These homes are worth an estimated £1.9 billion, based on the average house prices in Kent
The stubbornly high number of empty homes is compounding the housing market’s deeply entrenched problems with lack of supply remaining a key driver of high prices and low affordability.
New homes are not being built fast enough and the constant spectre of abandoned properties aggravates an already tough market.
Despite Kent county council, pioneering no use empty initiative which has transformed 5,400 empty homes since 2005 the numbers of long term vacant properties across Kent has risen.
Seven Districts have seen an increase of long term vacant homes. They are: Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Folkestone & Hythe, Sevenoaks, Swale and Thanet.
Five districts have seen a decrease. They are: Dover, Gravesham,Maidstone, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells.
These empty homes could easily eradicate the waiting lists of 5 and half councils, yet after many years of progress in reducing the numbers empty, the figures show conclusively that the trend for both those on the housing waiting lists and long term vacant empty properties in Kent are on the rise again.
The Shepwayvox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime