Lucy Alexander Champions the Revival of Britain’s Abandoned Properties

In a revealing analysis by property lender Together, there is an astonishing 1.55 million residential properties classified as abandoned or derelict in England and Wales. Despite their current state, these properties hold a potential value of £531 billion if redeveloped. The issue is so prevalent that 52% of Britons pass by a deserted building weekly, sparking a national conversation on revitalizing these ‘hidden gems.’

The Scale of Neglect
Analysis highlights a troubling trend, with nearly 20% of these empty homes having been vacant for six months or longer. This stagnation is set against a backdrop of a worsening housing crisis, where 46% of the public feels the situation is deteriorating. Detailed figures reveal over 240,000 detached homes and nearly 680,000 flats and apartments lay unused, with the South West, the East of England, and the East Midlands experiencing the most significant rises in abandoned properties.

Public Sentiment and Government Action
Public concern is mounting, with 36% of people believing the issue of derelict homes should be a priority on the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. As the government prepares to launch housing reforms aimed at facilitating the conversion of commercial buildings into residential units, there’s a growing push for these reforms to extend to the multitude of abandoned properties littering the country.

Spotlight on Solutions
Lucy Alexander, renowned TV presenter and property expert, has lent her voice to the cause, urging a rethink on the potential of these forsaken sites. With her Hidden Gems campaign, Alexander is not just highlighting the issue but also encouraging investment and redevelopment as crucial steps toward solving the housing shortage. Interestingly, 48% of the public are open to the idea of buying or investing in such properties for renovation, with intentions ranging from residential use to renting or even selling after refurbishment.

A United Front for Change
Elliot Vure, corporate director at Together, calls for a collective effort to address the problem of the UK’s abandoned properties. He emphasizes the potential for these buildings to be transformed into much-needed homes, stressing the importance of a unified strategy involving the property industry and government. Such collaboration could unlock economic benefits while preserving architectural heritage and providing housing solutions.

Lucy Alexander adds, “It’s a real shame especially as so many people struggle to find affordable housing options and get that first foot onto the property ladder to begin with. Spotting those property ‘hidden gems’ can really help potential buyers and developers open the doors to a newfound building opportunity – be it for housing, the creation of a new business or restorative project. So many existing sites today could see their former glory restored and new purpose given if the right support can be put in place.”

This nationwide issue of unused properties represents not just a challenge but also an opportunity for revitalization and growth, with potential benefits for communities, investors, and the housing market at large.