An area of Essex has more than 100 fewer empty homes than last year, which a council says goes against the national picture.
There were 871 vacant council properties in the Tendring district in January, compared with 973 in January 2009.
The number of homes empty for six months or more is on the rise nationally, the council said.
It said it has sent out letters to empty home owners.
It also decreased the council tax discount for homes empty for more than six months.
Steven Henderson, cabinet member for housing at TDC, said measures taken by the council had made a significant impact.
"We can be justly proud of reducing the number of empty homes on the database by more than 10% in such a short period of time," he said.
"It bucks the national trend and is a tribute to the work being carried out in this area by all those involved in this initiative."