Following consideration of LKP data, the government has today accepted that that the leasehold sector is far larger than was thought: there are 4.1 million leasehold properties in the private sector in England.
This is a 66 per cent increase on previous estimates of 2.5 million.
“The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has been working with DCLG on the new data methodology,” said the DCLG. “We see this as a very positive example of partnership working and builds on the work done by LKP.”
Our figures were the result of research by LKP co-director Martin Boyd.
Over the last six months LKP has been working with DCLG on the new data methodology to assess the size of the leasehold sector.
This work builds in part from the report published by LKP earlier this year that looked to provide the first robust set of data on the size and structure of the sector.
For years the sector has worked with inaccurate data and there are many implications following on from DCLG’s new figures.
As a result of the figures, leasehold is suddenly accepted as a much larger proportion of the UK housing stock. That in turn will impact on housing strategy and DCLG thinking on leasehold issues.
LKP will continue to develop our work on the size of the sector that uses a different but compatible methodology to that being used by DCLG. Our figures now very closely match those from DCLG in the private sector in England.
We will continue to research additional data on the number of flats in the social sector, as well as those properties in Wales.
Our initial figure published earlier this year produced a total of 5.37 million flats. This will now grow to include leasehold houses found in the DCLG data.
The LKP new estimate now suggests a total of 6.6 million flats and leasehold houses in England and Wales across both the private and social sector.
It is perhaps indicative of complacency at all levels in the leasehold sector that the revised figures were prompted by a minnow organisation of volunteers, rather than the well-funded trade bodies, professional property management institutes or, indeed, the Leasehold Advisory Service.
Curiously, one of the first to notice that leasehold has suddenly grown is freeholders’ barrister Justin Bates.
Bates was quick off the mark to see the potential for a few bob Tweeting that “and all 4.1 million need their own copy of his book entitled [REDACTED …] available from [REDACTED …] ….”