Vacant 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.

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 PropertiesTotal Vacant PropertiesAverageTotal Vacant Properties/Population
Labour70.3%16,4272006.82%
Conservative24.74%5,786375.75%
NOC3.00%952480.51%
Tamworth0.40%111N/A0.14%
Liberal Democrats0.20%6090.06%
Independent0.10%30100.33%
UKIP0.10%15N/A0.01%

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.

CouncilVacant PropertiesMajority Political PartyPopulationVacant Properties / Population
Hinckley & Bosworth District Council1,332Conservative108,8001.22%
London Borough of Brent1,233Labour324,0000.38%
London Borough of Ealing*897Labour343,1000.26%
London Borough of Waltham Forest860Labour271,2000.32%
London Borough of Southwark832Labour308,9000.27%
Salford City Council792Labour245,6000.32%
Sheffield City Council674Labour569,7000.12%
Birmingham City Council*650Labour1,111,3000.06%
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council634Labour201,0000.32%
North Tyneside Council570Labour202,5000.28%
Liverpool City Council565Labour478,6000.12%
London Borough of Lambeth529Labour324,4000.16%
Newcastle upon Tyne City Council**492Labour292,9000.17%
Wigan Metropolitan Borough432Labour322,0000.13%
London Borough of Enfield*427Labour328,4000.13%
London Borough of Greenwich399Labour274,8000.15%
Leeds City Council399Labour774,1000.05%
Dudley Metropolitan Borough387Noc316,5000.12%
London Borough of Tower Hamlets329Labour295,2000.11%
London Borough of Havering307Conservative249,1000.12%
London Borough of Lewisham*305Labour297,3000.10%
Oxford City Council303Labour159,6000.19%
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council293Labour304,8000.10%
Wolverhampton City Council288Labour254,4000.11%
South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council286Labour148,7000.19%
Manchester City Council286Labour530,3000.05%
London Borough of Camden265Labour241,1000.11%
Chesterfield Borough Council245Labour104,4000.23%
Aylesbury Vale District Council240Conservative188,7000.13%
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council*233Labour319,5000.07%
London Borough of Islington221Labour227,7000.10%
Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council200Labour434,3000.05%
Bolsover District Council171Labour77,8000.22%
Norwich City Council171Labour138,9000.12%
Charnwood Borough Council170Conservative176,7000.10%
West Lancashire District Council168Labour112,7000.15%
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council158Labour260,8000.06%
London Borough of Haringey153Labour272,9000.06%
Barnsley Borough Council*151Labour239,3000.06%
Mansfield District Council143Labour106,6000.13%
Harlow Council139Labour85,4000.16%
London Borough of Wandsworth133Conservative314,5000.04%
Stroud District Council132NOC116,6000.11%
North West Leicestershire121Conservative97,2000.12%
London Borough of Hillingdon121Conservative297,7000.04%
Cambridge City Council117Labour130,9000.09%
Bury Metropolitan Borough Council113Labour187,9000.06%
London Borough of Croydon**113Labour379,0000.03%
London Borough of Hackney111Labour269,0000.04%
Tamworth Borough Council*111Tamworth77,1000.14%
Kettering Borough Council98Conservative97,7000.10%
Basildon District Council96NOC181,7000.05%
Nuneaton & Bedworth**95Labour126,3000.08%
North Kesteven District Council91Conservative111,9000.08%
Dacorum Borough Council*91Conservative151,4000.06%
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham*86Labour202,0000.04%
Waveney District Council84Conservative116,2000.07%
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council81NOC288,7000.03%
Runnymede Borough Council80Conservative85,6000.09%
Uttlesford District Council*78Conservative85,1000.09%
Ashford Borough Council*77Conservative124,3000.06%
Bassetlaw District Council76Labour114,5000.07%
Warwick District Council73Conservative139,9000.05%
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames73Conservative173,5000.04%
Great Yarmouth Borough Council72NOC98,7000.07%
North Warwickshire Borough Council71Labour62,8000.11%
Taunton Deane Borough Council*69Conservative114,0000.06%
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea67Conservative157,7000.04%
Lincoln City Council67Labour97,1000.07%
London Borough of Barnet65Conservative379,7000.02%
Colchester Borough Council65NOC183,9000.04%
Lancaster City Council64NOC142,3000.04%
Ashfield District Council63Labour123,6000.05%
Exeter City56Labour127,3000.04%
Bromsgrove District Council55Conservative95,8000.06%
Redditch Borough Council55Labour84,7000.06%
Winchester City Council53Conservative120,7000.04%
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council53Conservative210,4000.03%
East Devon50Conservative138,1000.04%
Guildford Borough Council50Conservative146,1000.03%
Mid Suffolk District Council48Conservative99,6000.05%
Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council48Labour67,5000.07%
London Borough of Hounslow48Labour268,8000.02%
Stevenage Borough Council*46Labour86,5000.05%
Cannock Chase District Council46Labour98,5000.05%
St Albans City & District Council45Conservative145,8000.03%
London Borough of Bexley45Conservative242,1000.02%
Tendring District Council45NOC141,2000.03%
Dover District Council44Conservative113,2000.04%
Epping Forest District Council43Conservative129,7000.03%
Hyndburn Borough Council43Labour80,2000.05%
Cheltenham Borough Council42Liberal Democrat116,8000.04%
South Kesteven40Conservative138,9000.03%
High Peak Borough39Labour91,5000.04%
Ipswich Borough Council38Labour135,6000.03%
Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council38Labour333,8000.01%
Wealden District Council35Conservative156,5000.02%
London Borough of Newham**35Labour332,8000.01%
Selby34Conservative86,0000.04%
Crawley Borough Council34Labour110,9000.03%
Harrogate Borough Council33Conservative157,0000.02%
New Forest District Council33Conservative179,0000.02%
Corby Borough Council31Labour66,9000.05%
Rugby Borough Council30Conservative103,4000.03%
Broxtowe Borough Council30Conservative112,3000.03%
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council29Conservative116,2000.02%
City of London Corporation29Independent8,8000.33%
Arun District Council*28Conservative155,7000.02%
London Borough of Redbridge26Labour296,8000.01%
Dartford Borough Council24Conservative103,9000.02%
Canterbury City Council24Conservative160,0000.02%
Fareham Borough Council23Conservative114,8000.02%
Richmondshire22Conservative52,5000.04%
Adur District Council21Conservative63,4000.03%
Woking Borough Council**19Conservative99,4000.02%
Melton Borough Council15Conservative50,9000.03%
Gosport Borough Council*15Conservative84,7000.02%
Sunderland City Council15Labour277,2000.01%
Thanet District Council15UKIP139,8000.01%
Tandridge District Council14Conservative86,0000.02%
Sedgemoor District Council14Conservative120,3000.01%
Castle Point13Conservative89,2000.01%
Burnley Borough Council13Labour87,4000.01%
Babergh District Council11Conservative89,2000.01%
South Holland9Conservative91,2000.01%
Oadby & Wigston District Council**9Liberal Democrat55,8000.02%
Eastbourne Council9Liberal Democrat102,5000.01%
South Derbyshire8Conservative99,3000.01%
Worcester City Council8Conservative101,3000.01%
South Cambridgeshire8Conservative154,9000.01%
Lewes District Council7Conservative100,7001.33%
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council7Conservative144,1000.00%
Vale of White Horse District Council6Conservative126,7000.00%
Chichester District Council6Conservative117,0000.01%
Brentwood Borough Council4Conservative76,1000.01%
Horsham District Council4Conservative135,9000.00%
Carlisle City Council4Labour108,2000.00%
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough4Labour147,2000.00%
Wyre Forest District Council3Conservative99,5000.00%
Lichfield District Council3Conservative102,7000.00%
Trafford Council3Conservative233,3000.00%
London Borough of Merton3Labour204,6000.00%
Weymouth & Portland Borough Council3NOC65,2000.00%
Pendle Borough Council3NOC90,1000.00%
Cotswold District Council2Conservative85,2000.00%
West Dorset District Council2Conservative100,7000.00%
Waverley Borough Council2Conservative123,3000.00%
Chelmsford Borough Council2Conservative172,6000.00%
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council2Conservative97,9000.00%
Maidstone Borough Council2NOC164,5000.00%
Craven District Council1Conservative55,8000.00%
Maldon District Council1Conservative62,7000.00%
Rochford District Council1Conservative85,1000.00%
South Northamptonshire*1Conservative89,1000.00%
Harborough District Council1Conservative89,3000.00%
Suffolk Coastal District Council1Conservative125,1000.00%
Mole Valley Council1Conservative86,1000.00%
West Lindsey1Conservative92,8000.00%
Havant District Council1Conservative122,9000.00%
Copeland Borough Council1Independent69,6000.00%
North Devon District Council1NOC94,2000.00%
Elmbridge Borough Council1NOC132,7000.00%
Wycombe District Council0Conservative176,0000.00%
Wychavon District Council0Conservative121,5000.00%
Worthing Borough Council0Conservative107,7000.00%
West Somerset*0Conservative34,4000.00%
West Oxfordshire0Conservative108,6000.00%
Welwyn Hatfield Council0Conservative119,0000.00%
Wellingborough0Conservative77,2000.00%
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council0Conservative125,7000.00%
South Bucks District Council0Conservative69,1000.00%
Shepway District Council*0Conservative110,0000.00%
Sevenoaks District Council0Conservative118,4000.00%
Scarborough Borough Council0Conservative107,9000.00%
Ryedale District Council0Conservative53,1000.00%
Rushcliffe Council0Conservative114,5000.00%
Purbeck District Council*0Conservative46,2000.00%
Northampton Borough Council0Conservative222,5000.00%
North Norfolk District Council0Conservative103,3000.00%
North Dorset District Council0Conservative70,7000.00%
Newark and Sherwood District Council0Conservative118,6000.00%
Mendip District Council0Conservative111,7000.00%
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council0Conservative151,0000.00%
Huntingdonshire District Council0Conservative175,0000.00%
Hertsmere Borough Council**0Conservative103,0000.00%
Gloucester City Council0Conservative127,2000.00%
Forest of Dean District Council0Conservative84,5000.00%
Erewash Borough0Conservative114,5000.00%
East Hertfordshire*0Conservative144,7000.00%
East Hampshire District Council0Conservative118,1000.00%
East Cambridgeshire*0Conservative87,3000.00%
Daventry District Council*0Conservative80,0000.00%
Chiltern District Council0Conservative94,5000.00%
Cherwell District Council0Conservative145,6000.00%
Broxbourne Council0Conservative96,2000.00%
Broadland District Council0Conservative126,6000.00%
Breckland District Council0Conservative135,5000.00%
Braintree District Council0Conservative150,4000.00%
Blaby District Council0Conservative96,5000.00%
Amber Valley Borough Council0Conservative124,1000.00%
Stratford Upon Avon0Conservative121,5000.00%
Wyre Borough Council0Conservative109,7000.00%
West Devon Borough Council0Conservative54,4000.00%
Torridge District Council0Conservative66,3000.00%
Tewkesbury Borough Council*0Conservative86,9000.00%
Test Valley Borough Council0Conservative120,7000.00%
Teignbridge District Council*0Conservative128,8000.00%
Swale Borough Council0Conservative142,4000.00%
Surrey Heath Borough Council0Conservative88,1000.00%
Stafford Borough Council0Conservative132,5000.00%
St Edmundsbury Borough Council*0Conservative112,5000.00%
Spelthorne Borough Council0Conservative98,5000.00%
South Staffordshire0Conservative110,7000.00%
South Ribble Borough Council0Conservative109,7000.00%
South Oxfordshire District Council0Conservative137,4000.00%
South Norfolk0Conservative131,0000.00%
South Hams District Council0Conservative84,5000.00%
Rushmoor Borough Council0Conservative95,3000.00%
Rother District Council0Conservative92,9000.00%
Ribble Valley Borough Council0Conservative58,5000.00%
North Hertfordshire District Council0Conservative131,7000.00%
Mid Sussex District Council0Conservative145,7000.00%
Mid Devon District Council0Conservative79,5000.00%
Malvern Hills District Council0Conservative75,7000.00%
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames0Conservative194,7000.00%
London Borough of Bromley0Conservative324,9000.00%
Hambleton District Council0Conservative90,0000.00%
Gravesham Borough Council0Conservative106,3000.00%
Fylde Borough Council0Conservative77,3000.00%
Forest Heath District Council*0Conservative63,7000.00%
Fenland District Council**0Conservative99,2000.00%
Eden District Council0Conservative52,6000.00%
East Staffordshire Borough Council0Conservative116,0000.00%
East Northamptonshire Council0Conservative89,7000.00%
East Lindsey District Council0Conservative137,9000.00%
East Dorset District Council0Conservative88,7000.00%
Derbyshire Dales0Conservative71,1000.00%
City of Westminster0Conservative242,3000.00%
Christchurch Borough Council0Conservative49,1000.00%
Boston Borough Council*0Conservative66,9000.00%
Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council0Conservative173,9000.00%
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council0Independent79,0000.00%
Wirral Metropolitan Borough0Labour320,9000.00%
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council0Labour221,7000.00%
St Helens Borough Council0Labour177,6000.00%
Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council0Labour273,7000.00%
Rossendale*0Labour69,5000.00%
Rochdale Council0Labour214,2000.00%
Preston City Council0Labour141,3000.00%
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council0Labour230,8000.00%
North East Derbyshire0Labour99,6000.00%
London Borough of Harrow0Labour247,1000.00%
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham0Labour179,4000.00%
Hastings Borough Council**0Labour91,5000.00%
Gedling Borough Council0Labour115,9000.00%
Coventry City Council0Labour345,4000.00%
Chorley Borough Council0Labour113,0000.00%
Bradford Metropolitan Council0Labour531,2000.00%
Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council0Labour281,6000.00%
Watford Borough Council0Liberal Democrat96,4000.00%
South Lakeland District Council0Liberal Democrat103,5000.00%
London Borough of Sutton0Liberal Democrat200,1000.00%
Eastleigh Borough Council0Liberal Democrat129,0000.00%
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council0NOC276,1000.00%
Three Rivers District Council0NOC91,7000.00%
South Somerset District Council0NOC165,0000.00%
Newcastle-under-Lyme Council0NOC127,0000.00%
Hart District Council0NOC93,9000.00%
Calderdale0NOC208,4000.00%
Allerdale Borough Council0NOC96,7000.00%