Fewer new homes completed in Scotland last year
Despite growing demand for housing, the volume of new homes built in Scotland has fallen by 14% in the past year, fresh data shows. Just 14,629 new homes were developed or restored in Scotland, due partly to a fall in private, housing association and council house construction.
Various housebuilders north of the border are calling on the Scottish government to take action to help stimulate the market. However, ministers are blaming economic conditions for the decline.
Completions of affordable homes in Scotland fell by 13% last year, the third consecutive drop since they peaked in 2009/10. Over 25,000 new homes were completed annually between 2003 and 2008, but the number has fallen sharply since the start of the downturn. The number of private new-build homes completed has fallen from a peak of 22,444 in 2004/05 to just 9,594 last year.
Homes for Scotland chief executive Philip Hogg says: "These figures reinforce the fact that Scotland is mired in a housing crisis. Less than 14,000 new homes were built in 2012-13 yet our population is at a record level and households are growing by more than 21,000 a year."It is estimated that 465,000 new homes are needed in Scotland by 2035 to meet demand. However, the existing build rate points to a shortfall of around 160,000.
"Whilst the property market in England may appear to have turned a corner as a result of government policies, this is clearly not the case north of the border where much still needs to be done," Hogg adds. "In particular, we need to see the Scottish Government's promised £120m shared equity scheme launched as soon as possible and proposals to increase regulation and cost which threaten to further depress housing supply be reconsidered.
"If such action is not forthcoming, the cautious optimism which was apparent in the first half of the year could easily disappear with investment channelled elsewhere."