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Empty homes 'decreasing in number'

Empty properties in England are decreasing in number, according to a new survey from Halifax.A report from the lender revealed that there has been a nine per cent drop in empty homes in the last five years.Despite this, more than three per cent of the total stock in 17 English local authorities are empty properties, with more than half of these in the north-west of the country."It is highly encouraging that the number of private empty homes in England has declined by nearly a tenth over the past four years," said Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis."Nonetheless, it is concerning that the existence of empty homes remains a significant problem in a number of areas, particularly in the north of England."Among the 17 local authorities with the three per cent or above figure, 15 were in the 20 per cent most deprived parts of the country, while 11 had an unemployment rate which was the same or above the national average.

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