London tops the list of regions with valuable abandoned properties

Greater London has been identified as the UK region with the highest number of abandoned and derelict properties, according to property lender Together’s latest campaign. These unused properties, termed ‘hidden gems’, have a combined worth of £181.3bn and could significantly alleviate the housing shortage if planning regulations were relaxed.

Lucy Alexander, with her 15 years of experience as a TV property expert, is championing Together’s Hidden Gems campaign, bringing attention to the untapped opportunities these forsaken buildings present for buyers, investors, landlords, and developers.

Together’s research reveals that as of 2023, nearly 290,000 homes in Greater London are unoccupied. Repurposing these could be instrumental in addressing the housing demand.

The campaign also sheds light on the potential of dilapidated civic and commercial buildings throughout the UK. Following recent government propositions to streamline planning processes, these properties might soon find new life as residential spaces.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has announced that developers may soon be able to convert commercial buildings into homes more easily, a change anticipated to result in the creation of thousands of new homes each year, particularly in England’s major regional cities.

A national survey by Together indicates that a significant portion of the population recognizes the value in revitalizing these disused sites. About 77% agree that such redevelopment could invigorate local communities and boost employment, with 67% seeing the current neglect as a squander of valuable land and development opportunity.

Lucy Alexander, ambassador for the Hidden Gems Campaign, expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “During my time with Homes under the Hammer, very often the homes we were filming for the show would be derelict and left untouched and unloved for years. I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of seeing these abandoned properties taken on by those who aren’t shy of a challenge and want to transform a unique property into a home.”

She emphasises the campaign’s importance in highlighting these properties’ potential and the financial avenues available to support such transformations.

The report also notes that the South West, East of England, and East Midlands have seen the most significant increases in empty homes since 2021, with rises of 20%, 16%, and 15%, respectively. These figures suggest that, with the right initiatives, there could be a notable transformation in the housing landscape across various UK regions.