£234 million lost on empty homes

THEY stand empty across the Dungannon District, 2,591 empty houses, a silent reproach to the unwavering belief that the local property bubble would never burst.

Figures released by Northern Ireland's Department of Finance reveal the stark picture of the district's beleaguered housing market, which has one of the highest levels of empty properties in the region.

According to the department, the vacant homes represent a combined value of 234million.

The figure does not include half-finished properties in the district or the large number of building sites with just the foundations in place dotting the countryside.

The glut of properties and dearth of demand means that many local householders have been lumbered with houses in negative equity.

However, it's not just developers, builders and home-owners that have been hit in the pocket. Dungannon District Council has also been affected with the total amount of lost rates for the vacant properties estimated to be almost 3million.

Read the rest of this story in this week's issue of the TYRONE TIMES