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Statistics on empty properties and second homes

Long term empty properties and second homes

The latest figures, for September 2016, show that there were 26,140 second homes, 44,296 unoccupied exemptions and 35,725 long term empty properties. Of these long term empty properties over half (20,784 or 58%) had been empty for over 12 months. More information can be found using the links below.

Housing Statistics for Scotland - December 2016 update

Web tables

Information is available for:

  • Unoccupied Exemptions: generally properties which are empty and unfurnished for less than 6 months and exempt from paying council tax.

  • Long Term Empty Properties: properties which have been empty for more than 6 months and are liable for council tax. This includes properties empty for 12 months or more and which may be subject to an additional levy of up to 100% according to local authority policy.

  • Second Homes: homes which are furnished and lived in for at least 25 days in a 12 month period but not as someone’s main residence. They are entitled to a council tax discount of between 10% and 50%. In 2015/16, all local authorities had opted for a 10% discount on second homes. As of April 2017, local authorities will have the option to remove the council tax discount on second homes.

Empty properties are of particular interest as they can help increase the supply of housing in Scotland when brought back into use.