• London’s vacant properties were valued at an estimated £50bn in 2023.
  • Southwark had the highest number of empty homes of any London borough at 5,143.
  • Collectively, the top five boroughs for vacant properties account for a quarter of all empty homes in the capital.

Property experts at SBA Property Management have revealed the London boroughs with the highest number of vacant properties amid a worsening shortage of homes in the nation’s capital.

The research, which draws on data from all 33 local government authorities, shows that 87,763 houses stood empty across London in 2023. The total value of these properties is worth an estimated £50 billion, with a quarter of the city’s empty homes concentrated in just five boroughs.

The news comes at a time of increasing demand from prospective buyers in London along with lengthening waiting lists for social housing. Across the country, the government has set targets of building 300,000 new homes per year in order to tackle the housing crisis.

To leverage the potential of London’s vacant properties, many local authorities are now calling on the government to grant more powers to deal with empty homes.

Habib Mogul, Director at SBA Property Management, said: “Empty homes continue to be a major obstacle for London’s housing supply, but we have recently seen an increase in efforts to get vacant properties back on the market and unlock the £50 billion tied up in empty homes across the city.

“Local councils will soon be able to impose heavier premiums on properties that have been vacant for a year or more and there may be more regulatory changes to come.

“It will be interesting to monitor the impact of these changes. Should they succeed in encouraging owners of long-term vacant properties to sell or rent, there may be lots of opportunities for property investors and property managers.”

In this article, SBA Property Management shares an insight into the five London boroughs with the highest number of vacant properties, and the investment opportunities that come with each.


Southwark had the highest number of empty homes of any London borough in 2023, with 5,143 properties sitting empty last year. The combined value of these properties is estimated to be £2.77bn, which is the third highest of any London borough.

In recent years, Southwark has become an increasingly attractive place to invest, with regeneration bringing more people and businesses to the area. The borough has several first-rate attractions like Borough Market and the Tate Modern, as well as plenty of options for restaurants and nightlife, all within walking distance of central London.

Ongoing development is set to bring further benefits to Southwark, making it a top location for investors to target.


With 4,614 vacant dwellings, Barnet had the second-highest number of empty homes of any London borough last year. The estimated combined value of Barnet’s unoccupied properties was £2.75bn, representing the fourth-highest total of any borough.

The outer borough is known for its strong transport links to central London while also offering convenient access to the surrounding Hertfordshire countryside.

Regeneration schemes like Brent Cross Cricklewood are also helping to create new jobs, bringing more people to the borough and creating opportunities for investors.


Third on the list of London boroughs with the highest number of vacant dwellings is Camden with 4,320 empty homes. Camden’s vacant properties are valued at an estimated £3.5bn, which is second only to Kensington and Chelsea (£4.2bn) among all London boroughs.

A hot spot for locals and tourists alike, Camden has some of the highest house prices of any London borough. Along with Camden Market, the borough boasts leading live music venues in the form of KOKO and Roundhouse.

For an inner London borough, Camden also offers ample green space with Regent’s Park on its doorstep, making it a highly desirable place to live.


The outer borough of Croydon had the fourth-highest number of empty homes in London with 3,946 vacant dwellings recorded in 2023.

Croydon has some of the lowest average house prices of any London borough and so does not appear in the top ten for estimated value of vacant properties (£1.58bn).

Known as a commuter hub, Croydon offers excellent transport links with four rail stations and quick access to central London, Gatwick Airport and the M25.

Investors can also benefit from plenty of green space, great shopping facilities and a thriving food and drink scene with venues like BOXPARK.


With 3,812 vacant dwellings, Newham ranks fifth in the list of London boroughs with the highest number of empty homes in 2023.

Like Croydon, Newham’s house prices are low relative to the rest of London, with the total estimated value of its empty homes (£1.65bn) falling outside the top ten. The borough offers strong rental yields, which can make it an attractive prospect for buy-to-let investors.

Newham has benefitted from considerable investment in the last 15 years, most notably from the 2012 Olympic Games. It also offers easy access to the Thames and a short commute to central London, making it a convenient place to live.

As the research shows, the distribution of London’s empty homes varies considerably, with a quarter of all vacant properties located in the boroughs of Southwark, Barnet, Camden, Croydon and Newham.

One common thread that runs through all these areas is that they offer ample opportunity for investors. As a specialist property management company, SBA offers a wide range of services including residential block management and facilities management, helping investors in London get the most value out of their property portfolio.

Looking for a London property management company to help you get the best out of your property? Get in touch with our expert team today.