Guy Horne, co-founder and managing director of HS Property Group, answers editor Victoria Galligan's questions on empty homes in the UK…
How many homes are empty in the UK?
According to official figures by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, in March 2019 there were more than 216,000 empty homes across the UK, equating to £53.6bn of property value. This represents a 5.3% increase over the last 12 months, hitting the highest level of vacant properties since 2012.
According to the housing white paper published earlier this year, the Government intends to utilise offsite technologies and build around 100,000 modular homes across Britain by 2020. This call for a quick and sustainable solution to the current housing shortage has created a unique opportunity for offsite construction to become a key building method to meet the demand in the housing industry.
The UK finds itself in the midst of an acute housing crisis. Current annual construction levels are typically less than half of the estimated 250,000 new homes this country needs built every year through to at least the 2030s. With only 63% of projects delivered on time and only 49% delivered to budget, it’s clear to see that traditional building practices, whilst still integral, are falling short of meeting major challenges on their own.