Harrow Borough Council says only a small number of its properties are left vacant and then only for a short amount of time.

The comments come after figures from the company YouSpotProperty.com show the number of derelict and empty homes in Harrow has doubled.

A total of 214 homes in the borough are now recognised as long-term empty and derelict, which is an increase of 129 per cent compared to the year before.

In response to the figures, the council's cabinet member for housing Councillor Glen Hearnden said: “Harrow has only a tiny minority of its housing stock – less than half a per cent – vacant over six months and that is one of the best rates in London.

“To put this into perspective, over the years we have lost some 50 per cent of our housing stock, forced to sell it off by government policies.

“Harrow is a much sought after place to live and we are dealing with an unregulated and rapidly overheating property market in London.

"But despite that, we are making major inroads into ensuring there is a good mix of properties for all kinds of families.

“We are embarking on a major regeneration of one of our biggest estates and we will soon be building council houses again after a break of nearly 30 years. 

"We are confident that we are really working hard to help people to get the homes they want in Harrow.”