8,000 homes worth £ 2bn lying empty
PROPERTY worth almost £ 2billion is going unclaimed because many single people do not make a will.
Ranging from tiny terraces to sprawling mansions, there are 7,991 such estates worth an average of £ 218,300 each.
It total, £ 1.7billion of homes are lying vacant across England and Wales.
Developer StripeHomes says an estimated 30 per cent of all unclaimed estates – worth a total £ 516million – are in hot spot London.
The 1,079 places have an average price of £ 479,018.
The South- east has 18 per cent of the limbo portfolio valued at £ 310.7million, the equivalent value of 957 average properties.
The East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber and South- west are also home to large levels – the value of which would buy up to 812 typically priced places. Anyone wanting to claim one can check the Government’s register for abandoned legacies worth more than £ 500. It is administered by the Bon Vacantia – Latin for unclaimed property – legal section.
Any blood relative or spouse could be entitled to a share though they will need birth or marriage certificates.
Applicants will only discover the property’s worth if successful – estates are handed over to the Treasury after 30 years otherwise.
James Forrester, of StripeHomes, said: “While procedures need to be followed, 30 years seems a very long time to leave an estate lingering in limbo when it could be contributing positively to the current housing crisis.
“The majority are located in London where the shortage of housing is probably at its worst.”