The Department for Communities and Local Government has highlighted that the number of empty properties in England have fallen to a ten year low.
The latest Government data shows that, as of October 2013, there were 635,127 empty homes across England – down by a fifth since 2008 and at their lowest level since 2004. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles marked the drop in empty homes as a "significant achievement", working alongside the Government's efforts to introduce more homes into the UK property market.
He said: "Empty properties can blight entire neighbourhoods, becoming a magnet for antisocial behaviour when they should be family homes. So I'm pleased to see that the efforts we've made to bring these homes back into use have helped bring the numbers down to a ten-year low, with the number of long-term empty homes down by around a third since 2009.
"This is on top of the wider efforts we're making to get the country building, with 420,000 new homes delivered since 2010 – including 170,000 affordable homes."
Communities Minister Stephen Williams added: "I'm delighted to see the numbers of empty homes in this country at their lowest for a decade.
"This is a significant achievement, which is not only delivering more homes but also creating more jobs and apprenticeships, leading to both a stronger economy and a fairer society as these properties are renovated.
"I look forward to seeing how councils and communities build on this success in the year to come."