THE number of empty houses in the Vale of Glamorgan is among the lowest in Wales, according to a new study.

The 2016 figures, released by the BBC Shared Data Unit on Friday, November 24, showed that 689 homes in the Vale had been vacant for more than six months.

With that equating to roughly one empty home for every 185 residents, only four other local authorities – Flintshire, Wrexham, Torfaen and Cardiff – had less vacant properties per head than the Vale.

The number of empty houses in the county has remained relatively steady – an increase of just three on the figures stated for 2015 – after a spike the previous year saw the number rise as high as 994. Intervention by the local authority subsequently saw the figures drop sharply.

Rhondda Cynon Taf currently has the highest number of empty houses in Wales at 2,818, while Carmarthenshire and Swansea were the only other local authorities that had in excess of 2,000.

The latest figures indicate that, as of 2016, there were more than 25,000 vacant homes across Wales. Whilst this is a slight drop on the previous year, it represents an increase of almost 15 per cent since the study began in 2010.

A recent freedom of information request by Penarth based insurance firm CoverBuilder, not related to the BBC's investigation, indicated a substantial number of the Vale's empty properties were in Penarth.

House building has been a contentious point among residents in the Vale of Glamorgan, particularly Barry, over the past several years, with some arguing that the levels of new homes being constructed were unnecessarily high.

The new figures would suggest however that new housing has been required to meet demand, with the Vale's population having increased by more than 2,000 since 2010.