Aberdeen has marked the most substantial decrease in vacant homes in Scotland since 2021, as per Freedom of Information (FOI) data analysed by Admiral.
ACCORDING to the government’s definition, a long-term vacant house is one unoccupied for over six months. Edinburgh leads the list, with 6,904 homes empty for more than half a year. Aberdeen follows suit, with 4,029 vacant properties. However, there’s a silver lining for Aberdeen, which saw an impressive 32.9% decrease in vacant houses from 2021 to 2022, the most notable improvement across Scotland.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Why? Free to subscribe, no paywall, daily business news digest.
Admiral‘s research dives deeper into the dynamics, revealing that West Dunbartonshire experienced the largest increase in empty houses, rising by 33.5% from 2021 to 2022. Conversely, Aberdeen’s remarkable drop indicates a positive trend in addressing long-term vacant homes, aligning with the broader goal of optimising urban housing.
To shed light on the nuanced figures of empty homes concerning social housing waiting lists, Admiral sought expert commentary from Jonathan Tan, Co-founder, and CEO of Greater Change. Tan emphasises the disparity between empty homes and households awaiting social accommodation, revealing that 21% of England’s council housing waiting list could potentially be accommodated in long-term empty properties.
Tan further delves into the challenges, highlighting frozen local housing allowance rates and universal credit rates since April 2020, rendering private renting unaffordable to those on benefits. He stresses active campaigning efforts to elevate benefit rates, a crucial step toward enabling vulnerable populations to afford stable housing.