I have been walking past the empty block above called Elliot House on Crawford St, W1 for a while and only noticed at the beginning of the year that it was completely empty. Its a block of 22 flats that use to be owned by the Met for accommodating their staff in Central London.
After asking around l established its owned by an off-shore company registered as Elliot House (Guernsey) limited and only last year obtained permission planning. Since then its been lying empty for well over a year now. I suspect that many other developments like this exist in Central London.
To its credit the FT recently did an analysis of all companies registered outside the UK that owned properties in England & Wales from data held with the Land Registry. Not surprising it found the major concentration of it all was in particular parts of London like the City of Westminster, followed by Kensington & Chelsea and then Camden. So it does make me wonder if its got anything to do with council tax levels for empty properties?
We all know that London has become a global hotspot for offshore property ownership and in this instance are probably many others it is causing off-shore empties like Elliot House to lie empty indefinitely while clearly being fine for occupation. So watch out for more off-shore empties like Elliott House in Central London, adding to our housing crisis.