Empty homes targeted by £20m funding drive

Supports for property investors and landlords to refurbish and renovate the 1.4 million uninhabited homes across the UK.

empty homes

A £20m funding drive targets the 200,000 homes with a collective market value of £43bn lying uninhabited – yet ripe for refurbishment and renovation – across England alone.

That adds up to a sector-first initiative launched to support the nation’s budding property investors and landlords in their fledgling investment projects across the UK property market.

Doing the maths is Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, who announced a £20m initiative targeted at refurbishment and restoration projects, tapping into the potential of 1.4m empty homes UK wide –  the highest level for 20 years.

Running until June next year, the funding will be made available to nationwide applicants in the form of bridging loans ranging from £100,000 to £1m.

Applicants and their asset-backed securities will be reviewed based on MFS’ in-house credit analysis and due diligence.

Recent stats suggest 30% of UK investors are turning to property over the next 24 months.

FlipFinance2017 is pitched as helping form the foundations of future property portfolios, at a time when the average asking price for a UK house is at a record high of £317,281 – with the average period to save for a deposit standing at two years.

The UK property market acknowledges an undersupply crisis, with 200,000 homes – and a collective market value of £43bn lying uninhabited across England alone.

Yet, a near year on since the EU referendum, the UK property market has demonstrated remarkable strength, defying speculations of a decline in housing demand.

With 30% of UK housing investors turning to traditional asset classes such as property over the coming 12 months, market demand is likely to remain strong.

A recent survey of property owners found 88% expected housing prices to rise over the course of the next six months.

However, many would-be property investors, landlords and homeowners face difficulties in accessing finance from traditional lending institutions, inhibiting their investment strategies.

According to the latest Bank of England data, a total of 66,837 mortgages were approved for house purchases in March, down 1.6% on the previous month.

The number of loans approved for those re-mortgaging also fell for the first time this year to 42,814; meanwhile, the UK’s bridging lending sector grew to £2.83bn in 2016.

Raja, said: “In the face of seismic political events this year, the robust strength of the UK property market has certainly proved its resilience.

“For the sector to continue this impressive growth, support must be channelled to the aspirational investors who will lead this growth forward, a vital objective we are directly addressing through this initiative.

“There is tremendous value locked in a variety of properties across the nation; without the finance options in place to access them, this part of the property market will remain dormant.

“To support the refurbishment and restoration projects that are essential to catalyse further movement across the sector, MFS has launched FlipFinance2017 and is very excited to see the results build into fruition.”