February 26, 2020

Birmingham ranks first as UK regeneration hotspots are revealed

New research has revealed Birmingham as the Council area with the most opportunities for regeneration for investment in empty residential and commercial properties.

UK fibre broadband specialist Glide made a series of FOI requests to local Councils in order to find the number of empty dwellings and commercial properties across the UK. 

Collectively, across both categories of building, in the month of September 2019 there were 617,527 empty buildings across the UK.

Of those councils which held the information, Birmingham was revealed as the leading Council area for the most potential space, with 8,086 residential properties and 7,622 commercial buildings in the city and its suburbs being empty. 

Second is Liverpool, where 15,339 buildings are currently not occupied, while regions across the North dominate the top five, with Manchester, Leeds and Bradford also ranking highly.



Empty residential properties Empty commercial properties  Total
1 Birmingham City Council 8086 7622 15,708
2 Liverpool City Council 11073 4266 15,339
3 Manchester City Council 10531 4003 14,534
4 Leeds City Council 8331 4528 12,859
5 Bradford Metropolitan Council 2610 7908 10,518
6 Durham County Council 7330 1573 8,903
7 Bristol City Council 6403 1742 8,145
8 Cheshire West and Chester 5860 1897 7,757
9 Sheffield City Council 5063 2610 7,673
10 Cornwall Council 5795 1662 7,457

Bradford has the highest number of commercial properties currently empty, with 7,908 business premises currently unoccupied, which means that 4.5% of all empty commercial properties in the UK are located in that Council area. 

Birmingham has the second highest number of empty commercial properties (7,622), followed by Leeds (4,528) and Liverpool (4,266).

The FOI requests found that there are a total of 172,217 empty business units across the UK, which perhaps suggests a huge potential for investment, particularly in cities and regions that have felt the harshest effects of recent financial uncertainty.  

Liverpool has the highest number of empty residential properties, with 11,073 sitting unoccupied, while the study revealed that there are a total 448,246 empty dwellings in this sector across the country – and that the top five cities account for 10% of the total number of vacant homes. 

Jason Lloyd, Head of Residential at Glide, said: “The research has revealed the high number of empty properties and businesses across the UK, particularly across some of the major northern Council areas. 

“But whilst it is troubling to see so much wasted residential and commercial space, it does represent a clear opportunity for developers, and hopefully this study will help prospective investors pinpoint where there is the most potential for growth.”