Hundreds of homes have sat empty for more than six months in East Devon

Housing. Picture: Getty Images

Housing. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than 278,000 homes have sat empty across England, Scotland and Wales for longer than six months, with 4,402 of those in Devon alone – the highest proportion in the South West.

Government figures and freedom of information requests to local British councils have unveiled where the empty homes crisis is most severe.

The statistics have been released at a time when thousands of homes are being built and planned for East Devon and surrounding areas, to address what one council leader described as a 'desperate need' for more 'high-quality, family-friendly housing'.

Below is a ranked list breaking down where the empty homes are in each Devon council area:

1. Torbay - 1,303 (19.7 in 1,000 are empty).

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2. Plymouth - 715 (6 in 1,000 are empty).

3. North Devon - 600 (12.8 in 1,000 are empty).

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4. Exeter - 400 (7.3 in 1,000 are empty).

5. East Devon - 337 (5.4 in 1,000 are empty).

6. Teignbridge - 338 (5.4 in 1,000 are empty).

7. Torridge - 264 (8 in 1,000 are empty).

8. South Hams - 194 (4.3 in 1,000 are empty).

9. Mid Devon - 113 (3.1 in 1,000 are empty).

10. West Devon - 98 (3.8 in 1,000 are empty).

Across the UK, there are 278,018 long-term vacant homes - England has the highest total (216,186), while Wales has the highest proportion of long-term vacants, with 20 in every 1,000 homes sitting empty for six months or longer.

Median house price for each local authority has been used to estimate where longer-term vacancies are collectively worth the most money.

Noel Summerfield, head of home insurance at Admiral - which collated the figures, said: "After seeing reports that the number of empty homes in England had increased in recent years, we decided to look at where housing stocks were being mostly underused by analysing and ranking the proportion of long-term vacancies across councils in England, Scotland and Wales.

"On a regional level, we found that Cornwall had the highest proportion of longer-term vacancies in England, with 25.8 in 1,000 homes vacant for over 10 years."

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