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Council Owned Property Report

Our latest research has found that across England, local councils are holding onto over 23,000 vacant residential properties, an average of 87 per council, despite the housing crisis currently gripping the nation.

Recent research by the Telegraph highlighted that there are 200,000+ empty homes across the UK and we have highlighted the quantity owned by the very entities that are tasked with housing people and building new homes to meet expanding demand levels.

We submitted 270 freedom of information requests to London, Metropolitan and District councils asking for the total number of vacant residential properties in their possession including, but not limited to, any council or social housing. So not just those let to council housing tenants, but everything of a residential nature owned by that council.

To provide a transparent analysis of the data, the research not only highlights the worst by the total volume of vacant housing stock but the worst in relation to the local population.

Download the full data file via the button below.

Worst by Total Volume

#1 Hinckley & Bosworth District Council

Vacant Properties: 1,332

Majority Party: Conservative

#2 London Borough of Brent

Vacant Properties: 1,233

Majority Party: Labour

#3 London Borough of Ealing*

Vacant Properties: 897

Majority Party: Labour

#4 London Borough of Waltham Forest

Vacant Properties: 860

Majority Party: Labour

#5 London Borough of Southwark

Vacant Properties: 832

Majority Party: Labour

#6 Salford City Council

Vacant Properties: 2,677

Majority Party: Labour

#7 Sheffield City Council

Vacant Properties: 674

Majority Party: Labour

#8 Birmingham City Council

Vacant Properties: 650

Majority Party: Labour

#9 Gateshead Met Borough Council

Vacant Properties: 634

Majority Party: Conservative

Worst by Volume to Population

#1 Hinckley & Bosworth District Council

Vacant/Population: 1.22%

Majority Party: Conservative

#2 London Borough of Brent

Vacant/Population: 0.38%

Majority Party: Labour

#3 City of London Corporation

Vacant/Population: 0.33%

Majority Party: Independent

#4 Salford City Council

Vacant/Population: 1.09%

Majority Party: Labour

#5 London Borough of Waltham Forest

Vacant/Population: 0.32%

Majority Party: Labour

#6 Gateshead Met Borough Council

Vacant/Population: 0.32%

Majority Party: Labour

#7 North Tyneside Council

Vacant/Population: 0.28%

Majority Party: Labour

#8 London Borough of Southwark

Vacant/Population: 0.27%

Majority Party: Labour

#9 London Borough of Ealing

Vacant/Population: 0.26%

Majority Party: Labour

Worst By Political Party

Majority Political Party % of Total Vacant Properties Total Vacant Properties Average Total Vacant Properties/Population
Labour 70.3% 16,427 200 6.82%
Conservative 24.74% 5,786 37 5.75%
NOC 3.00% 952 48 0.51%
Tamworth 0.40% 111 N/A 0.14%
Liberal Democrats 0.20% 60 9 0.06%
Independent 0.10% 30 10 0.33%
UKIP 0.10% 15 N/A 0.01%

The Best of the Bunch

It is important to note that of the 270 councils, 108 (40%) do not hold any vacant properties, 73% of which are Conservative majority councils with Labour accounting for just 16% of that number.

No Response

Of the 270 councils, we fail to get an adequate response from 24. 15 (* within main table) never confirmed receipt of the FOI and so were given the benefit of the doubt. However, eight (** within main table) confirmed receipt of the original request, failed to reply within the allotted time frame and then failed to provide the information during a second round follow up mid-April.

In these instances, the latest Government data for vacant properties within the ‘Local Authority Housing Statistics”, released in March 2017, was used to ascertain a figure.

It’s quite frankly scandalous that in the current market climate those in charge of addressing the severe housing shortage are actually sitting on a potential solution or at least part of it.

We’ve seen numerous plans and announcements by the Government to tackle the housing crisis and help the average UK homebuyer in previous years, all of which have amounted to little more than regurgitated rhetoric. It would seem that parties across the entire political spectrum need to get their own house in order first and utilize the resources already at their fingertips, rather than investing in another failed housing initiative.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

Council Vacant Properties Majority Political Party Population Vacant Properties / Population
Hinckley & Bosworth District Council 1,332 Conservative 108,800 1.22%
London Borough of Brent 1,233 Labour 324,000 0.38%
London Borough of Ealing* 897 Labour 343,100 0.26%
London Borough of Waltham Forest 860 Labour 271,200 0.32%
London Borough of Southwark 832 Labour 308,900 0.27%
Salford City Council 792 Labour 245,600 0.32%
Sheffield City Council 674 Labour 569,700 0.12%
Birmingham City Council* 650 Labour 1,111,300 0.06%
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council 634 Labour 201,000 0.32%
North Tyneside Council 570 Labour 202,500 0.28%
Liverpool City Council 565 Labour 478,600 0.12%
London Borough of Lambeth 529 Labour 324,400 0.16%
Newcastle upon Tyne City Council** 492 Labour 292,900 0.17%
Wigan Metropolitan Borough 432 Labour 322,000 0.13%
London Borough of Enfield* 427 Labour 328,400 0.13%
London Borough of Greenwich 399 Labour 274,800 0.15%
Leeds City Council 399 Labour 774,100 0.05%
Dudley Metropolitan Borough 387 Noc 316,500 0.12%
London Borough of Tower Hamlets 329 Labour 295,200 0.11%
London Borough of Havering 307 Conservative 249,100 0.12%
London Borough of Lewisham* 305 Labour 297,300 0.10%
Oxford City Council 303 Labour 159,600 0.19%
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council 293 Labour 304,800 0.10%
Wolverhampton City Council 288 Labour 254,400 0.11%
South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council 286 Labour 148,700 0.19%
Manchester City Council 286 Labour 530,300 0.05%
London Borough of Camden 265 Labour 241,100 0.11%
Chesterfield Borough Council 245 Labour 104,400 0.23%
Aylesbury Vale District Council 240 Conservative 188,700 0.13%
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council* 233 Labour 319,500 0.07%
London Borough of Islington 221 Labour 227,700 0.10%
Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council 200 Labour 434,300 0.05%
Bolsover District Council 171 Labour 77,800 0.22%
Norwich City Council 171 Labour 138,900 0.12%
Charnwood Borough Council 170 Conservative 176,700 0.10%
West Lancashire District Council 168 Labour 112,700 0.15%
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council 158 Labour 260,800 0.06%
London Borough of Haringey 153 Labour 272,900 0.06%
Barnsley Borough Council* 151 Labour 239,300 0.06%
Mansfield District Council 143 Labour 106,600 0.13%
Harlow Council 139 Labour 85,400 0.16%
London Borough of Wandsworth 133 Conservative 314,500 0.04%
Stroud District Council 132 NOC 116,600 0.11%
North West Leicestershire 121 Conservative 97,200 0.12%
London Borough of Hillingdon 121 Conservative 297,700 0.04%
Cambridge City Council 117 Labour 130,900 0.09%
Bury Metropolitan Borough Council 113 Labour 187,900 0.06%
London Borough of Croydon** 113 Labour 379,000 0.03%
London Borough of Hackney 111 Labour 269,000 0.04%
Tamworth Borough Council* 111 Tamworth 77,100 0.14%
Kettering Borough Council 98 Conservative 97,700 0.10%
Basildon District Council 96 NOC 181,700 0.05%
Nuneaton & Bedworth** 95 Labour 126,300 0.08%
North Kesteven District Council 91 Conservative 111,900 0.08%
Dacorum Borough Council* 91 Conservative 151,400 0.06%
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham* 86 Labour 202,000 0.04%
Waveney District Council 84 Conservative 116,200 0.07%
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council 81 NOC 288,700 0.03%
Runnymede Borough Council 80 Conservative 85,600 0.09%
Uttlesford District Council* 78 Conservative 85,100 0.09%
Ashford Borough Council* 77 Conservative 124,300 0.06%
Bassetlaw District Council 76 Labour 114,500 0.07%
Warwick District Council 73 Conservative 139,900 0.05%
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames 73 Conservative 173,500 0.04%
Great Yarmouth Borough Council 72 NOC 98,700 0.07%
North Warwickshire Borough Council 71 Labour 62,800 0.11%
Taunton Deane Borough Council* 69 Conservative 114,000 0.06%
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea 67 Conservative 157,700 0.04%
Lincoln City Council 67 Labour 97,100 0.07%
London Borough of Barnet 65 Conservative 379,700 0.02%
Colchester Borough Council 65 NOC 183,900 0.04%
Lancaster City Council 64 NOC 142,300 0.04%
Ashfield District Council 63 Labour 123,600 0.05%
Exeter City 56 Labour 127,300 0.04%
Bromsgrove District Council 55 Conservative 95,800 0.06%
Redditch Borough Council 55 Labour 84,700 0.06%
Winchester City Council 53 Conservative 120,700 0.04%
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council 53 Conservative 210,400 0.03%
East Devon 50 Conservative 138,100 0.04%
Guildford Borough Council 50 Conservative 146,100 0.03%
Mid Suffolk District Council 48 Conservative 99,600 0.05%
Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council 48 Labour 67,500 0.07%
London Borough of Hounslow 48 Labour 268,800 0.02%
Stevenage Borough Council* 46 Labour 86,500 0.05%
Cannock Chase District Council 46 Labour 98,500 0.05%
St Albans City & District Council 45 Conservative 145,800 0.03%
London Borough of Bexley 45 Conservative 242,100 0.02%
Tendring District Council 45 NOC 141,200 0.03%
Dover District Council 44 Conservative 113,200 0.04%
Epping Forest District Council 43 Conservative 129,700 0.03%
Hyndburn Borough Council 43 Labour 80,200 0.05%
Cheltenham Borough Council 42 Liberal Democrat 116,800 0.04%
South Kesteven 40 Conservative 138,900 0.03%
High Peak Borough 39 Labour 91,500 0.04%
Ipswich Borough Council 38 Labour 135,600 0.03%
Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council 38 Labour 333,800 0.01%
Wealden District Council 35 Conservative 156,500 0.02%
London Borough of Newham** 35 Labour 332,800 0.01%
Selby 34 Conservative 86,000 0.04%
Crawley Borough Council 34 Labour 110,900 0.03%
Harrogate Borough Council 33 Conservative 157,000 0.02%
New Forest District Council 33 Conservative 179,000 0.02%
Corby Borough Council 31 Labour 66,900 0.05%
Rugby Borough Council 30 Conservative 103,400 0.03%
Broxtowe Borough Council 30 Conservative 112,300 0.03%
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council 29 Conservative 116,200 0.02%
City of London Corporation 29 Independent 8,800 0.33%
Arun District Council* 28 Conservative 155,700 0.02%
London Borough of Redbridge 26 Labour 296,800 0.01%
Dartford Borough Council 24 Conservative 103,900 0.02%
Canterbury City Council 24 Conservative 160,000 0.02%
Fareham Borough Council 23 Conservative 114,800 0.02%
Richmondshire 22 Conservative 52,500 0.04%
Adur District Council 21 Conservative 63,400 0.03%
Woking Borough Council** 19 Conservative 99,400 0.02%
Melton Borough Council 15 Conservative 50,900 0.03%
Gosport Borough Council* 15 Conservative 84,700 0.02%
Sunderland City Council 15 Labour 277,200 0.01%
Thanet District Council 15 UKIP 139,800 0.01%
Tandridge District Council 14 Conservative 86,000 0.02%
Sedgemoor District Council 14 Conservative 120,300 0.01%
Castle Point 13 Conservative 89,200 0.01%
Burnley Borough Council 13 Labour 87,400 0.01%
Babergh District Council 11 Conservative 89,200 0.01%
South Holland 9 Conservative 91,200 0.01%
Oadby & Wigston District Council** 9 Liberal Democrat 55,800 0.02%
Eastbourne Council 9 Liberal Democrat 102,500 0.01%
South Derbyshire 8 Conservative 99,300 0.01%
Worcester City Council 8 Conservative 101,300 0.01%
South Cambridgeshire 8 Conservative 154,900 0.01%
Lewes District Council 7 Conservative 100,700 1.33%
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council 7 Conservative 144,100 0.00%
Vale of White Horse District Council 6 Conservative 126,700 0.00%
Chichester District Council 6 Conservative 117,000 0.01%
Brentwood Borough Council 4 Conservative 76,100 0.01%
Horsham District Council 4 Conservative 135,900 0.00%
Carlisle City Council 4 Labour 108,200 0.00%
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough 4 Labour 147,200 0.00%
Wyre Forest District Council 3 Conservative 99,500 0.00%
Lichfield District Council 3 Conservative 102,700 0.00%
Trafford Council 3 Conservative 233,300 0.00%
London Borough of Merton 3 Labour 204,600 0.00%
Weymouth & Portland Borough Council 3 NOC 65,200 0.00%
Pendle Borough Council 3 NOC 90,100 0.00%
Cotswold District Council 2 Conservative 85,200 0.00%
West Dorset District Council 2 Conservative 100,700 0.00%
Waverley Borough Council 2 Conservative 123,300 0.00%
Chelmsford Borough Council 2 Conservative 172,600 0.00%
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council 2 Conservative 97,900 0.00%
Maidstone Borough Council 2 NOC 164,500 0.00%
Craven District Council 1 Conservative 55,800 0.00%
Maldon District Council 1 Conservative 62,700 0.00%
Rochford District Council 1 Conservative 85,100 0.00%
South Northamptonshire* 1 Conservative 89,100 0.00%
Harborough District Council 1 Conservative 89,300 0.00%
Suffolk Coastal District Council 1 Conservative 125,100 0.00%
Mole Valley Council 1 Conservative 86,100 0.00%
West Lindsey 1 Conservative 92,800 0.00%
Havant District Council 1 Conservative 122,900 0.00%
Copeland Borough Council 1 Independent 69,600 0.00%
North Devon District Council 1 NOC 94,200 0.00%
Elmbridge Borough Council 1 NOC 132,700 0.00%
Wycombe District Council 0 Conservative 176,000 0.00%
Wychavon District Council 0 Conservative 121,500 0.00%
Worthing Borough Council 0 Conservative 107,700 0.00%
West Somerset* 0 Conservative 34,400 0.00%
West Oxfordshire 0 Conservative 108,600 0.00%
Welwyn Hatfield Council 0 Conservative 119,000 0.00%
Wellingborough 0 Conservative 77,200 0.00%
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council 0 Conservative 125,700 0.00%
South Bucks District Council 0 Conservative 69,100 0.00%
Shepway District Council* 0 Conservative 110,000 0.00%
Sevenoaks District Council 0 Conservative 118,400 0.00%
Scarborough Borough Council 0 Conservative 107,900 0.00%
Ryedale District Council 0 Conservative 53,100 0.00%
Rushcliffe Council 0 Conservative 114,500 0.00%
Purbeck District Council* 0 Conservative 46,200 0.00%
Northampton Borough Council 0 Conservative 222,500 0.00%
North Norfolk District Council 0 Conservative 103,300 0.00%
North Dorset District Council 0 Conservative 70,700 0.00%
Newark and Sherwood District Council 0 Conservative 118,600 0.00%
Mendip District Council 0 Conservative 111,700 0.00%
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council 0 Conservative 151,000 0.00%
Huntingdonshire District Council 0 Conservative 175,000 0.00%
Hertsmere Borough Council** 0 Conservative 103,000 0.00%
Gloucester City Council 0 Conservative 127,200 0.00%
Forest of Dean District Council 0 Conservative 84,500 0.00%
Erewash Borough 0 Conservative 114,500 0.00%
East Hertfordshire* 0 Conservative 144,700 0.00%
East Hampshire District Council 0 Conservative 118,100 0.00%
East Cambridgeshire* 0 Conservative 87,300 0.00%
Daventry District Council* 0 Conservative 80,000 0.00%
Chiltern District Council 0 Conservative 94,500 0.00%
Cherwell District Council 0 Conservative 145,600 0.00%
Broxbourne Council 0 Conservative 96,200 0.00%
Broadland District Council 0 Conservative 126,600 0.00%
Breckland District Council 0 Conservative 135,500 0.00%
Braintree District Council 0 Conservative 150,400 0.00%
Blaby District Council 0 Conservative 96,500 0.00%
Amber Valley Borough Council 0 Conservative 124,100 0.00%
Stratford Upon Avon 0 Conservative 121,500 0.00%
Wyre Borough Council 0 Conservative 109,700 0.00%
West Devon Borough Council 0 Conservative 54,400 0.00%
Torridge District Council 0 Conservative 66,300 0.00%
Tewkesbury Borough Council* 0 Conservative 86,900 0.00%
Test Valley Borough Council 0 Conservative 120,700 0.00%
Teignbridge District Council* 0 Conservative 128,800 0.00%
Swale Borough Council 0 Conservative 142,400 0.00%
Surrey Heath Borough Council 0 Conservative 88,100 0.00%
Stafford Borough Council 0 Conservative 132,500 0.00%
St Edmundsbury Borough Council* 0 Conservative 112,500 0.00%
Spelthorne Borough Council 0 Conservative 98,500 0.00%
South Staffordshire 0 Conservative 110,700 0.00%
South Ribble Borough Council 0 Conservative 109,700 0.00%
South Oxfordshire District Council 0 Conservative 137,400 0.00%
South Norfolk 0 Conservative 131,000 0.00%
South Hams District Council 0 Conservative 84,500 0.00%
Rushmoor Borough Council 0 Conservative 95,300 0.00%
Rother District Council 0 Conservative 92,900 0.00%
Ribble Valley Borough Council 0 Conservative 58,500 0.00%
North Hertfordshire District Council 0 Conservative 131,700 0.00%
Mid Sussex District Council 0 Conservative 145,700 0.00%
Mid Devon District Council 0 Conservative 79,500 0.00%
Malvern Hills District Council 0 Conservative 75,700 0.00%
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames 0 Conservative 194,700 0.00%
London Borough of Bromley 0 Conservative 324,900 0.00%
Hambleton District Council 0 Conservative 90,000 0.00%
Gravesham Borough Council 0 Conservative 106,300 0.00%
Fylde Borough Council 0 Conservative 77,300 0.00%
Forest Heath District Council* 0 Conservative 63,700 0.00%
Fenland District Council** 0 Conservative 99,200 0.00%
Eden District Council 0 Conservative 52,600 0.00%
East Staffordshire Borough Council 0 Conservative 116,000 0.00%
East Northamptonshire Council 0 Conservative 89,700 0.00%
East Lindsey District Council 0 Conservative 137,900 0.00%
East Dorset District Council 0 Conservative 88,700 0.00%
Derbyshire Dales 0 Conservative 71,100 0.00%
City of Westminster 0 Conservative 242,300 0.00%
Christchurch Borough Council 0 Conservative 49,100 0.00%
Boston Borough Council* 0 Conservative 66,900 0.00%
Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council 0 Conservative 173,900 0.00%
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council 0 Independent 79,000 0.00%
Wirral Metropolitan Borough 0 Labour 320,900 0.00%
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council 0 Labour 221,700 0.00%
St Helens Borough Council 0 Labour 177,600 0.00%
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council 0 Labour 273,700 0.00%
Rossendale* 0 Labour 69,500 0.00%
Rochdale Council 0 Labour 214,200 0.00%
Preston City Council 0 Labour 141,300 0.00%
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council 0 Labour 230,800 0.00%
North East Derbyshire 0 Labour 99,600 0.00%
London Borough of Harrow 0 Labour 247,100 0.00%
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham 0 Labour 179,400 0.00%
Hastings Borough Council** 0 Labour 91,500 0.00%
Gedling Borough Council 0 Labour 115,900 0.00%
Coventry City Council 0 Labour 345,400 0.00%
Chorley Borough Council 0 Labour 113,000 0.00%
Bradford Metropolitan Council 0 Labour 531,200 0.00%
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council 0 Labour 281,600 0.00%
Watford Borough Council 0 Liberal Democrat 96,400 0.00%
South Lakeland District Council 0 Liberal Democrat 103,500 0.00%
London Borough of Sutton 0 Liberal Democrat 200,100 0.00%
Eastleigh Borough Council 0 Liberal Democrat 129,000 0.00%
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council 0 NOC 276,100 0.00%
Three Rivers District Council 0 NOC 91,700 0.00%
South Somerset District Council 0 NOC 165,000 0.00%
Newcastle-under-Lyme Council 0 NOC 127,000 0.00%
Hart District Council 0 NOC 93,900 0.00%
Calderdale 0 NOC 208,400 0.00%
Allerdale Borough Council 0 NOC 96,700 0.00%