A leading think tank believes that disused commercial land and empty commercial buildings could be redeveloped providing up to 420,000 new rental homes in and around London reports the telegraph.co.uk

According to the article Policy Exchange, the think tank that compiled the figures, discovered that there were over 500 hectares of vacant and under used industrial land as well as vacant retail properties. 

The think tank’s report suggested that with £3bn from the government and funds from the private sector the land could be purchased and 21,000 homes could be built each year.  The rental income and sale of equity stakes could help to recoup the governments investment over a 20 year period. 

Policy Exchange’s report also thinks that the current system to acquire commercial land that has been unused or vacant for over two years could be reformed to provide new powers to the Mayor of London in order to speed up the purchasing process.  This would significantly increase the availability of new homes that could be built from the current level of approximately 27,000 which is less than half the required 50,000 to meet demand.  

Head of housing at Policy Exchange, Chris Walker said that the government “should seriously consider making the largest investment in housing since the 1970s to pay for land acquisition, land development and large scale house building”, adding ”The government urgently needs to make bold reforms to the laws surrounding compulsory purchase of empty or under-utilised commercial properties to create a significant supply of land for new housing”.

If you are looking to invest in the buy to let market or increase your landlord property portfolio, especially in the capital, then the think tank findings will be welcome news.  The other good news is that Click4quote.com can provide landlord insurance quotes for landlords with either single or multiple rental properties.  Why not get a quote online or download our property portfolio quote request form.  Alternatively call us today and see how we can protect your property investment.