According to recent figures published by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the number of empty homes across England has risen by 5.3% in the 12 months to October 2018, the highest level since 2012.

As there is an continued problem in the housing market with a lack of homes, surely more could be done to bring these empty houses back to market rather than just a focus on new homes.

One of the few cities and towns reporting a fall in the number of empty houses is Liverpool (despite the figure remaining one of the highest). This could be due to the number of new initiatives Liverpool City Council are using to try reduce this number, such as the so-called "£1 houses", or perhaps it could be a renewed interest in the City of Liverpool. Whatever the reason, council's across England need to be focusing on what they can do to reduce their figure.

It is clear from the startling figures of how many empty homes there are in England (more than 216,000), that more needs to be done to tackle this issue alongside a push for new housing. A focus on both of these issues could help a struggling housing market and reduce prices for those already on the property ladder and those looking to take their first step.

Whilst many mourn the loss of green belt land to residential development, perhaps there should be more focus on bringing renewed life to these empty homes across our cities.