Figures for April 1996, show that the number of empty homes fell to 790,000, the third successive annual reduction.
However, the reduction is entirely due to a fall in the private sector, and the number in the public sector continues to rise (although the overall level is lower).
In the public sector, the number of council homes empty has risen from 71,800 to 79,000, up to 2.3% of the stock. In London, the vacancy rate is even higher at 3.3%.
% The agency has published a report which claims that letting homes above shops helps to cut crime in the inner city.
% Today marks the start of the agency's 'Empty Homes Week', and it is helping to mark the event by highlighting specific empty properties with the help of The Big Issue, the magazine for the homeless.
-- Tables, based on DoE returns, for London local authorities are available on request from LGCNet. Tel 0171 833 7324 and we shall fax you a copy.