Our Pretty Vacant Manchester report asks is Manchester Building 'The Wrong Housing' Action on Empty Homes new report, 'Pretty Vacant Manchester' reports on work to examine vacancy levels and housing policy in Manchester and asks questions about the City's 'hidden empties' and the impact of Airbnb on access to housing. Download the Pretty Vacant Manchester report: CLICK HERE Key findings include: Official numbers of empty homes for the City disguise much higher levels of housing vacancy: In the City of Manchester official data on long-term empty homes records over 2,000 long-term empty homes An analysis of actual long-term vacancy data adds around 6,000 so-called 'second homes', or 'furnished empties', to this total - these homes are also not housing anyone and have been withdrawn from primary residential use by their owners on a long-term basis. This category of housing is protected from tax penalties imposed by local councils on owners and landlords keeping homes vacant. Prior to the imposition of a tax penalty regime official levels of long-term vacancy in the City appear to have included around 5,000 of these so-called 'second homes', which were then re-classified. In all 1 in every 30 homes in the City of Manchester is not in residential use on a long-term basis In Salford this number is 1 in every 40. While across Greater Manchester the number is lower at 1 in 54. For the official Government data on vacant homes in Greater Manchester CLICK HERE The impact of Airbnb on sucking homes out of residential use is largely unrecorded by official data but is widely viewed as very significant Researchers suggest that growth of 'whole home lettings' on Airbnb is sucking thousands of homes out of use across the City of Manchester intensifying the City's housing crisis as 13,000 people wait for social housing with 1,500 families placed in Temporary Accommodation. Airbnb and similar platforms have shifted from a sharing economy model to an exploitative multi-property management model designed to maximise investor returns at the expense of local housing supply. The high levels of 'second homes' in development hotspots such as the City of Manchester and Salford suggest some housing in this category may be used as leisure investment and let on short-let platforms including Airbnb but the unregulated nature of the sector makes this impossible to clarify second homes may be let on Airbnb but as the sector is unregulated it is likely that many Airbnbs may be misrecorded as primary residences. It is striking that high development 'hotspots' such as central Manchester and Salford feature unusually high levels of second homes by regional and national standards In the City of Manchester official vacancy levels appear to sit at less than 1% but once unoccupied second homes are factored in this vacancy level rises to one in 30 - or 3.3%. In Salford the official long-term vacancy level is recorded as just under 1% - however, when 'second homes', or furnished empties are factored in this level more than doubles to 2.5% - or one in every 40 homes out of residential use. The high levels of 'second homes' in development hotspots such as the City of Manchester and Salford suggest some housing in this category, particularly newbuild apartments, may be used as leisure investments and let on short-let platforms including Airbnb. The unregulated nature of the short-let sector makes this impossible to clarify - second homes may be let on Airbnb but as it is also likely that many Airbnbs may be misrecorded as primary residences. Commenting on the report's findings, Will McMahon, Director of Action on Empty Homes, said "It is time we had a frank conversation about vacancy levels. We need to stop pretending that a quarter of a million second homes in England, over 10,000 of these in Greater Manchester, are really homes at all. We also have to ask why so many homes are allowed to be sucked out of residential use into the short-let or Airbnb makets as purchased off-plan leisure investments. It is time we stopped counting these as contributions to housing supply. We need to stop building the wrong housing to end the housing crisis and address the falling numbers of social homes available to those in desperate housing need." He added, "The Campaign Against Empty Homes is a cross-party coalition calling for action and involving community organisations, trade unions and homelessness projects, as well as members of many different political parties - we hope that everyone concerned about the intensifying housing crisis in Manchester and across the country will call on local politicians to adopt its recommendations for combatting both current levels of wasted empty homes and for new housing policies which will reduce the built-in vacancy that is caused by our current flawed investor-led development model. It is time we built homes to meet local need, not to maximise investor returns at the expense of local homeless families." For a detailed look at the figures behind our analysis of official vacancy data in Greater Manchester CLICK HERE For a look at data on empty and second homes collected by every local council in England CLICK HERE The work leading to the report was supported by the Evan Cornish Foundation.