Mactaggart & Mickel Group

Mactaggart & Mickel Homes announces sweet sponsorship package to help mental health project

mactaggartMactaggart & Mickel Homes, the award-winning family housebuilder, has announced its support for inspiring Glasgow-based organisation, The Depressed Cake Shop.

The company will donate £1,000 as well as providing support in kind throughout the year as part of its commitment to supporting local good causes.

The organisation, a community of bakers and cake makers committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, uses pop-up cake shops as a platform for raising funds and awareness.

Trademark grey icing and sad faces on the cakes not only allow bakers to express how they are feeling, but act as a talking point to encourage shop visitors to discuss mental health issues more openly.

The Depressed Cake Shop was recently a finalist in BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind Awards in recognition of the help it has given individuals who have to cope with mental health issues.

Support from Mactaggart & Mickel Homes will help fund the purchase of ingredients to produce the cakes and sweet treats which will go on sale at pop up events across Scotland and the UK. The funds raised from these events are then distributed to local mental health charities.

Andrew Mickel, chairman of Mactaggart & Mickel Homes said: “The Depressed Cake Shop is a fantastic organisation doing some excellent work to raise awareness of mental health issues. We have always supported projects that benefit the communities in which we build and were keen to help shine the spotlight on a cause which doesn’t get as much attention as many others.”

Jules Langdale from The Depressed Cake Shop said: “Mental health is often overlooked when it comes to charitable donations – there is still a certain taboo around treating it as an illness that can affect anyone. Our events aim to raise the profile of these issues and get people talking about mental health as well as giving sufferers an outlet for their emotions. We’re very much looking forward to working with Mactaggart & Mickel Homes to help raise awareness, one cake at a time.”

Mactaggart & Mickel Group triumphs at Family Business Awards

L-R Tom Craig, Ross Mickel and Paul Andrews

L-R Tom Craig, Ross Mickel and Paul Andrews

Glasgow-based Mactaggart & Mickel Group has been declared the Property & Construction Family Business of the Year for 2016.

The renowned family housebuilder scooped one of the top awards at the fourth Family Business of the Year Awards hosted in London earlier this month by Family Business United.

Open to family firms of all generations, sizes and sectors, the awards recognise the diversity, strength and depth of family firms across the UK and highlight the contribution they make to the UK economy.

Commenting on Mactaggart & Mickel Group’s success, director Ross Mickel said: “Receiving this award is particularly meaningful as it recognises our core values; we believe our success lies in the fact that we have built our company into an extended family.

“We value every member of our team, and have a culture of support and sense of belonging that everyone feels working for us. We strive to support family life in a sector where this is not always easy and continually endeavour to expand the boundaries, setting benchmarks for the industry and becoming a leading company invested in its people.”

Paul Andrews, founder and managing director of Family Business United, added: “This was a tough category but Mactaggart & Mickel Group is a deserving winner. It is a fantastic family firm dating back over 90 years with great leadership and passion at the fore helping to create the great family business that it remains today.

“The judges were impressed with the innovation, investment and support, and the way that it has evolved as a business to succeed in creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

Now a fourth-generation family business – a feat achieved by only 3 per cent of family run organisations in the UK – Mactaggart & Mickel Group has evolved to maintain its place as the Scottish housebuilder with the highest reputation.

With 15 active sites across the central belt it is leading the way in quality and innovation in the Scottish housebuilding industry.

Planning reform a ‘golden opportunity’ for public and private sector to tackle housing shortage

Neil Collar, head of Brodies’ Planning Group

Neil Collar, head of Brodies’ Planning Group

The Scottish Government’s ongoing consultation on the future of planning in Scotland presents a ‘golden opportunity’ for the private and public sectors to work in partnership to tackle the shortage of new homes, a housebuilding conference hosted by Brodies LLP heard.

A new era of collaboration is required to tackle delays in decision-making and bring clarity on the provision of infrastructure to support new developments, delegates were told.

The housebuilding conference in Edinburgh, which was attended by 180 delegates, coincided with the publication of a survey of leading figures in the sector which showed that delays to planning consent and infrastructure costs are regarded as the biggest barriers to building new homes. Of the housebuilders, developers, contractors, architects, professional advisers and funders surveyed, 41.6 per cent cited delays in consenting as the biggest problem, with infrastructure costs, such as the provision of road links and utilities, cited by 32 per cent.

It has been estimated that some 23,000 new homes will need to be built in each year to keep up with the growing number of households in Scotland, however only 15,500 homes were built in 2014. This figure is 40 per cent lower than prior to the recession. However, with the Scottish Government having announced a £50 million infrastructure fund this week, and with a review of the planning system currently underway, there was confidence among delegates at the conference that the industry could grow to meet pre-recession levels in the next few years.

Speaking at the conference, Andrew Mickel, chairman of the housebuilding division of Mactaggart & Mickel, agreed that reform of the planning system to speed up decision-making and greater clarity on the funding of infrastructure packages were the sector’s most pressing concerns. He added that a 10 per cent increase in new builds year-on-year was achievable and would return Scotland to pre-recession construction levels within four years.

“With the completions that have recently been announced by some developers, I think it shows that it would be achievable to get back to pre-recession levels of housebuilding within a relatively short time-frame,” he said.

“There is a need for reform of the planning system. Greater efficiency and speed of processing of applications would be a big help for the industry as a whole. Getting everyone to understand that developers need to have a managed and reasonable payment profile would also be hugely beneficial.

“It’s very welcome to see that the Scottish Government has clearly recognised that there is an issue with regards to infrastructure funding, and I hope that (last) week’s announcement is the start of more money to come, as £50 million will disappear very quickly.”

Neil Collar, head of Brodies’ Planning Group, welcomed the focus on delivery in recent draft planning advice issued by the Scottish Government on Housing and Infrastructure.

Alasdair Fleming, co-head of Brodies’ Housebuilding Group, added: “Historically, this country has been led out of every recession in modern times by an increase in activity in the housebuilding sector.  With the recession now behind us, we must aim to capitalise on the potential for economic growth which a strong housebuilding industry will bring, something that Andrew highlighted at the conference. To do so, we must meet head on, and as a matter of urgency, the very real issues in relation to the planning function and the funding of infrastructure costs.”

Social housing completions up 10 per cent but sector calls for more

The Scottish Government has surpassed its target of delivering 30,000 affordable homes in this parliamentary term thanks to a 10 per cent increase in the number of social sector homes completed in the past year, new figures have revealed.

Official statistics released yesterday show that 3,879 new homes were delivered during the past 12 months, bringing the tally to 30,133 – 133 more than the target set by the Scottish Government.

From July to September 2015, 895 social sector homes were completed – 23 per cent more than in the same quarter in 2014.

Social rented completions between April 2011 and end October 2015 has totalled at 20,400, exceeding the target by 400 homes, while the number of council house completions has reached 5,292, exceeding the target by 292 homes.

Meanwhile, private sector led completions dropped by 4 per cent in the year to end June 2015, but the figures show there was a rise in private sector led starts between April and June this year, increasing by 7 per cent against the same quarter in 2014. This brings the total for the year to end June 2015 to 12,530 – 550 more homes than in the previous year.

“Housing is a key priority for this government, and these statistics show we have exceeded our target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes,” said Scotland’s housing minister, Margaret Burgess. “I’m pleased to see an increase in the number of social sector homes completed in the past year and that private sector starts are also up on last year’s figures.

“High quality, energy efficient, affordable homes form the cornerstone of socially and economically sustainable communities. We have worked hard with the housing sector to deliver these homes as well as develop innovative funding initiatives, such as government guarantees, loans, grant recycling and new sources of private funding, to help both buyers and developers.”

Philip Hogg

Philip Hogg

Philip Hogg, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said the figures “are not only disappointing, they are truly shocking and demonstrate the size of the challenge”.

He added: “Unfortunately, there is little in the way of positives that can be taken.

“Not only do we see a fall in the latest yearly figures, the last two consecutive quarters have also shown a drop.  There has also been a 22 per cent decrease on Q2 levels compared to last year but it is when you look at the position in 2007, prior to the economic downturn, that you see the true magnitude of the problem with completions down more than half.

“The stop/start nature of Help to Buy funding, which this year ran out in May, is causing both home buyers and builders uncertainty, making it very difficult for the industry to forward plan and maintain any growth momentum.  With this situation in marked contrast to the position south of the border, the consequences are reflected not just in today’s statistics but also our own more up-to-date data.

“The unfortunate truth of the matter is that today’s statistics show that the housing pressures facing Scots show no sign of abating.  If we are really serious about tackling the housing crisis, we must recognise two fundamental things.

“The first is that any ambition to increase levels of ‘affordable’ housing is welcome but is only a minority part of the picture. Affordable housing delivery is inextricably linked to the building of homes in the private sector, the engine of housing delivery, through the direct contribution the industry makes through planning policy – so if we want to build more affordable housing, we must encourage and facilitate more private sector development.

“The second is that the majority of Scots, as research firmly shows, aspire to own their own home.

“Having an effective and accessible Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme without funding gaps is crucial on both of these counts, as is a balanced housing policy approach which places equal emphasis on having enough homes of all tenures in the right places to meet the diverse housing needs and aspirations of all those living in Scotland.”

Ed Monaghan

Ed Monaghan

Ed Monaghan, chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said the new build completion statistics are disappointing considering the sector has been demonstrating signs of confidence of late with more competitive mortgage packages on offer.

He added: “The decline could be attributed to the introduction of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax discouraging people from investing in top tier properties, which could cause a significant impact on sales.

“The lack of housing incentives such as Help to Buy could be further compounding this issue. This is proving to be a successful driver for the industry south of the border, as demonstrated by the Chancellor’s commitment to build a million homes over the life of the parliament in his Autumn Statement last week.

“It is imperative that we have suitable incentive programmes in Scotland which are supported by the industry and by the Scottish Government in order to return to more positive levels of growth.”

CIH Scotland said the figures show encouraging signs but warned that there is still a long way to go.

Director Annie Mauger said: “We welcome the rise in affordable and social rented homes built over the 12 months to September 2015. However, these figures also show that the total number of homes built across all tenures has fallen in recent years – and the scale of the challenge we face to build the new housing we need to help the growing number of people who are struggling to access a decent home at a price they can afford.

“Our research with Shelter Scotland and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has shown that we need to build at least 12,000 affordable homes a year for the next five years – today’s figures show that just under 7,000 were built in the year to the end of September. Given current budget constraints, delivering the number of new homes that are needed will require some genuinely bold new thinking.

“We also need to ensure that we are building homes of all tenures (to buy, to rent and for shared ownership) that are truly affordable for people on all incomes. Ahead of next year’s election, we look forward to working with politicians from all parties to share the knowledge and experience of Scotland’s housing professionals so we can develop solutions that will work in practice on the ground.”

The sentiments were echoed by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Shelter Scotland.

Mary Taylor, SFHA chief executive, said: “We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has met its target and exceeded it by 133 affordable homes. Housing targets represent more than just an amount of new builds – 30,133 households’ life chances will have been improved by securing a high quality, energy efficient, affordable home.”

Mary Taylor added: “We acknowledge the manifesto pledge by the SNP to invest at least £3 billion to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the next Parliament if re-elected. However, we are calling on all political parties to commit to the 12,000 target ahead of the Holyrood elections.

“It is vital that our members have the resources to build more affordable homes, and Scottish Ministers are already considering expert recommendations made earlier this summer which showed a need for increased public investment per home to produce social housing at affordable rents – particularly for those on lower incomes – and unlock the private borrowing capacity of housing associations. We are also calling on all political parties ahead of the Holyrood elections to commit to increased investment.

“Not only will investing in housing help to create jobs and boost the economy, but good quality, affordable, energy efficient housing can immeasurably improve people’s health, wellbeing and life chances.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has exceeded its own target of 30,000 affordable homes over the last five years. However, we know that we need a real step change in our scale of ambition on affordable housing supply if we are to tackle the urgency and human cost of Scotland’s housing crisis.

“Today’s figures prove that setting a national target for affordable house building can work, now we just need to match the level of ambition to the real level of housing need.”

Graeme Brown added: “It is only by committing to delivering 12,000 affordable homes a year that we can bring hope to the 150,000 families and individuals on waiting lists for a home across Scotland. We want to see all political parties in Scotland make delivering this kind of step change in affordable housing supply a priority in their manifestos for the forthcoming Holyrood elections.”

Mactaggart & Mickel Group celebrates 90 years in business with 21 per cent rise in profits

Ed Monaghan

Ed Monaghan

An ongoing focus on growing income from external markets through each of its divisions has paid dividends for Mactaggart & Mickel Group with profits increasing by 21 per cent.

The family housebuilder, which is celebrating 90 years in business, published positive results for the year ended 30 April 2015 showing a 16 per cent rise in turnover to £68 million (2014: £58.5m) with profits before tax increasing 21 per cent to £9.8m (2014: £8.1m).

The results maintain its strong performance from 2014 which saw the Group return to pre-recession profit levels. The Group’s flagship Homes business also continued to deliver robust returns.

Operational highlights include:

  • Homes – Homes remains the cornerstone of the business contributing turnover of £48.5m (2014: £44m). Forward sales of 82 per cent have been secured in the current trading year.
  • Timber Systems – Turnover increased to £5.4m (2014: £4.3m) as the division strengthened its management team and improved productivity through further capital investment in its manufacturing facility. Contract wins with new and repeat residential and commercial property clients secured a healthy order book.
  • Contracts – Reduced turnover of £10.4m (2014: £13.3m) as the division completed the retrofit of 225 units at the multi-award winning Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village. Several ongoing social housing contracts and a focus on growing its external customer base have resulted in a comfortable pipeline of contracts for the current financial year.
  • Commercial Property – An annual profit of £0.7m represents a substantial increase on the previous year (2014: £0.4m) with overall asset value of £5.8m. The Group completed the sale of its first commercial property development at Dalkeith for £2m marking a significant milestone.
  • Lettings – Income totalled £3.4m (2014: £3.3m) and overall asset value of £60m. Underperforming assets were disposed of to fund a reinvestment strategy outwith Scotland.
  • Strategic Land – Investment of £0.8m across the year grew the company’s English landbank to morethan 1,310 acres across 20 sites. Three planning applications were submitted in Scotland, for 423 units, and over 1,460 units were secured from greenbelt near Bath, Gloucester and Liverpool. The first English land sale was also settled, to Persimmon Homes at Shavington, Cheshire.

Chief executive Ed Monaghan said: “This year marks our 90th in business and the fourth of our five year plan. We have consolidated last year’s outstanding performance with another period of growth and improved profitability.

“While we have seen footfall and sales at our sites increase, like every other housebuilder, we have been watching with interest the situation with the scheme that is set to replace Help to Buy (Scotland). The original initiative was a real boost to the industry when it was introduced but we saw it fully subscribed in just a few months this year and we await with interest the detail around the new scheme.

“Our other business units have now established themselves as profit centres with milestones including our first land sale in England and our Commercial Property division’s first development sale. The focus now is on growing income from external sources to ensure we are fully exploiting our skills base and capabilities.”

To celebrate its 90th anniversary yesterday Mactaggart & Mickel Group launched the second edition of its ‘Home Builders’ history book.

The launch, which took place at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow, was hosted by historian, author and broadcaster, Neil Oliver who provided insight on the importance of housing as a marker for time.

(from left) Andrew Mickel, Bruce Mickel, Neil Oliver and Ross Mickel

(from left) Andrew Mickel, Bruce Mickel, Neil Oliver and Ross Mickel

Initially commissioned by Mactaggart & Mickel Group 15 years ago to celebrate its 75th anniversary the second edition of ‘Home Builders’, which was researched and produced by Historic Environment Scotland highlights the company’s historical milestones and how it has weathered the economic difficulties of recent years and demonstrated a willingness to adapt and change in order to grow.

Bruce Mickel, chairman of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said: “As a family business we were keen to celebrate this milestone in a memorable way as so few make it this far. The Home Builders book charts the landmarks in our history that have helped us get to where we are today and demonstrates the family ethos felt throughout our workforce that has, I believe, been fundamental to our success.

“The event was a fitting celebration of our 90 years in business and allowed the family to share our favourite moments and stories from the company’s history. Now we can look forward to securing 100 years and beyond.”

Historian and broadcaster, Neil Oliver, who hosted the event said: “I am delighted to be celebrating 90 years of Mactaggart & Mickel and a fascinating history into almost a century of house building in Scotland.”

Nominations open for 2015 SBATC Apprenticeship Awards

Shaun Kennedy second from left with employer Mactaggart & Mickel

Shaun Kennedy second from left with employer Mactaggart & Mickel

Construction employers have until 23rd October to submit nominations for the 2015 SBATC Apprenticeship Awards, incorporating the James Birnie Award for Craft Excellence.

Now in their 16th year, the SBATC Apprenticeship Awards are organised by the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council (SBATC) which is responsible for regulating the working conditions, wages, recruitment and training of apprentices within the Scottish construction industry.

The SBATC Apprenticeship Awards are unique in recognising excellence across all of the traditional building trades in Scotland. Candidates are assessed according to their practical and academic ability alongside other important skills such as organisation, communication and the ability to perform in a team.

The Awards incorporate four specific award categories, namely:

  • Civil Engineering Apprentice of the Year
  • Adult Apprentice of the Year
  • Construction Specialist Apprentice of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year and winner of the James Birnie Award for Craft Excellence

The winners of the 2015 Awards will be announced at a special ceremony at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Tuesday, 8th December.

Since being named 2014 SBATC Apprentice of the Year, carpenter and joiner Shaun Kennedy from Glasgow has successfully completed a four-year apprenticeship with house builder Mactaggart & Mickel. Shaun is now working full-time for the company and is also undertaking a Higher National Certificate in Construction Management.

Shaun Kennedy said: “It was such a great feeling to win the James Birnie Award last year. I’ve won other awards as an apprentice but James Birnie was probably the one I’m most proud of. It’s a real privilege to have won up against so many other skilled apprentices from all of the trades. Since winning, I’ve finished my apprenticeship and I’m now a full-time tradesman with Mactaggart & Mickel which I’m really enjoying. I’m still really keen to learn new skills which is why I decided to do the HNC in Construction Management as well.”

SBATC chairman Gavin Hay added: “The SBATC Apprenticeship Awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate excellence in the traditional craft trades. I would encourage employers to think about your own apprentices and particularly those who have gone the extra mile to excel at their chosen trade. Nominating them for these Awards is a great way to acknowledge their hard work and dedication and hopefully to spur them on to even bigger and better things in the future.”

Mactaggart & Mickel Group celebrates 520 years of service at annual awards

Mactaggart & Mickel awardFamily-owned housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Group honoured 520 years of dedicated service by employees at its recent Long Service Awards.

The event celebrated 25 employees who have all reached milestones with the company beginning at 10 years’ service, with the longest serving member of the team clocking up an impressive 45 years’ service.

The event was a double celebration for the company as it is marking its 90th Anniversary this year. Now a fourth generation family business – a feat achieved by only 3 per cent of family run organisations in the UK.

The awards covered every area of the business from construction and manufacturing to sales and board members.

Ed Monaghan, chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, who was also recognised on the day for his 35 years’ service with the company, said: “The event was a great celebration of the entire team’s hard work. There is a real family atmosphere at Mactaggart & Mickel Group and I believe part of this is due to the loyalty and hard work demonstrated by our entire workforce.

“Events like our Long Service Awards are very important as they enable us to recognise and reward our employees who have shown so many years’ dedicated service to the company and played a role in the company’s success over the years.”

The Long Service Awards were part of a wider celebration of the company’s 90th Anniversary which included the annual Excellence Awards where staff members are rewarded for outstanding performance over the past 12 months.

Mactaggart & Mickel Group backs Glasgow School of Art with new scholarship

Derek Mickel

Derek Mickel

Mactaggart & Mickel Group has launched a new scholarship in conjunction with The Glasgow School of Art as it confirms its support for the acclaimed Glasgow institute.

Aptly named ‘The Derek Mickel Architecture Scholarship’, after the late chairman of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, the scholarship pays tribute to Derek Mickel’s lifelong connection to design and passion for nurturing young talent.

Launching during the company’s landmark 90th anniversary year, the scholarship is open to all undergraduate students studying in The Mackintosh School of Architecture at The Glasgow School of Art. It will fully fund the selected student throughout their programme of study in Architecture for three years.

Andrew Mickel, chairman of Mactaggart & Mickel Homes and son of Derek Mickel, said: “Inspired by my father’s vision and passion for architecture, this scholarship has an aim of not only supporting students but also inspiring them, helping them to realise their potential.

“We recognise and appreciate the knowledge and skill required by architects – providing support to the future generation is an honour and something we deem to be a responsibility.

“I’m really looking forward to reviewing the applications; I expect the calibre of entrants will be excellent. My father would be so proud – I hope this is the start of a lasting legacy for many future generations to come.”

Professor Christopher Platt, head of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at The Glasgow School of Art, added: “The Mackintosh School of Architecture is pleased to be working in partnership with Mactaggart & Mickel Group, known for quality and innovation in house building.

“This new scholarship will help a talented student for the duration of their course; financial pressures on our students can be considerable and this generous award will help ease the burden of undertaking a creative course of study.”

Mactaggart & Mickel Group has a long history of supporting young talent, from local teams, schools and groups to its sponsorship of Commonwealth Games hopeful, swimmer Jordan Hughes.

Private sector house building drives rise in new build completions

Margaret Burgess

Margaret Burgess

A 16 per cent increase in private-led new build homes has accounted for a large proportion of a continued rise in housing completions across the country.

Housing statistics released today by the Scottish Government shows a total of 12,188 private-led new build homes were completed in the year to end December 2014, an increase of 16 per cent (1,707 homes) on the previous year.

A total of 15,541 homes were completed in the full year to end December 2014, 4 per cent (657 homes) more than the 14,884 completions in the previous year.

During the same period a total of 3,353 social sector homes were built, a decrease of 24 per cent (1,050 homes) on the previous year. However more recent social sector data shows a substantial increase in completions for the quarter January to March 2015, resulting in a 4 per cent increase for the 12 months to March 2015 to 4,221 homes.

Total completions under the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, which reflects a broader supply of affordable homes, increased by 1 per cent to 7,069 homes in the 2014/15 financial year.

Housing minister Margaret Burgess said the figures show the Scottish Government is on track to reach its 2016 affordable homes target.

She said: “Housing is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s ambitions to create a fairer and more prosperous country and the supply of affordable housing is a key priority. I’m delighted to say we are well on track to meeting our five year target of 30,000 new homes by 2016.

“The figures for the first quarter to the end of March 2015 are positive and we will work with partners to deliver our target of 30,000 affordable homes across Scotland by next year.

“In addition, we will continue to work closely with the housing sector to support the construction of new homes across all tenures, supporting jobs in the construction industry and wider economy, and helping to strengthen communities, promote social justice and tackle inequality.”

However, Ed Monaghan, chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group called for further action to maintain the upward trajectory.

He said: “The statistics released by the Scottish Government today showing a continued rise in new build completions are welcome news for the industry and can be attributed to the increasing investment from the private sector. This boost in consumer confidence can be linked to initiatives that stimulate the market such as Help to Buy (Scotland).

“This rare housing policy success has not only helped those in most need, it has also driven the industry on an upward trajectory. However now that the H2B scheme has come to an end in Scotland, more needs to be done to ensure the industry continues to prosper.  It’s important that we continue to encourage growth in the construction industry by offering housebuilder led assistance initiatives, boosting skilled employment and also through partnership working on innovative programmes in which the public sector has a vital role to play.”

Homes for Scotland said the hugely successful Help to Buy (Scotland) shared equity scheme is the catalyst behind the increase in private sector home building.

The trade body also pointed to a 22 per cent rise in the number of new homes built since 2012, the year before the scheme was introduced.

Chief executive Philip Hogg said: “Having already resulted in 5000 sales and now proven to have significantly increased housing production, the impact of Help to Buy (Scotland) is obvious for all to see.

“Not only has it stimulated the building of much needed new housing and helped people meet their aspirations to own their own home, it has also channelled investment to Scotland, supporting vital jobs and boosting the wider economy.

“Disappointingly, however, with demand resulting in early closure of the main scheme  just last week and no announcement on further support forthcoming from the Scottish Government, we now seem to be at risk of letting the opportunity to build on its success pass us by rather than capitalising on the wide-ranging social and economic benefits it has to offer.

“There is still a long way to go in addressing our country’s housing crisis but in order to harness the potential that Help to Buy (Scotland) has already demonstrated and maintain this momentum, we hope the Scottish Government acts on this clear evidence of success and provides an early signal on its intentions for a successor scheme from April 2016.”

Key Points:

New build housing

All Sectors

There were 4,210 new build homes completed between October and December 2014; 1 per cent up on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 15,541, up 4 per cent (657 homes) compared to the 14,884 completed in the previous year.

There were 4,159 new build homes started between October and December 2014; 26 per cent up the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 16,486 which is up by 15 per cent (2,157 homes) compared to the 14,329 homes started in the previous year.

Private Sector

Between October and December 2014, 3,327 private sector led homes were completed; 8 per cent up on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 12,188 – up by 16 per cent (1,707 homes) on the 10,481 completions in the previous year.

There were 3,311 private sector led starts between October and December 2014, 34 per cent up on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 12,699, 19 per cent (2,019 homes) higher than the 10,680 starts in the previous year

Social Housing (Housing Association and Local Authority combined)

There were 883 social housing completions between October and December 2014; 17 per cent down on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 3,353. This is a decrease of 24 per cent on the 4,403 completions the previous year.

Meanwhile 848 social sector homes were started between October and December 2014; 4 per cent up on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the 12 months to end December 2014 to 3,787 which is 4 per cent more than the 3,649 started in the previous year.

More up-to-date figures show that, in January to March 2015, 1,677 social sector homes were completed (more than double the 809 completions in the same quarter in 2014), and 1,756 were started (up by 2 per cent on the same quarter in 2014).

Housing Association Homes

There were 614 housing association completions between October and December 2014; 22 per cent down on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 2,386. This is a 25 per cent (790 homes) decrease on the 3,176 completions the previous year

There were 510 housing association approvals between October and December 2014; 5 per cent down on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 2,573. This is a 4 per cent (91 homes) increase on the 2,482 approvals in the previous year.

More up-to-date figures show that, in January to March 2015, 1,334 housing association homes were completed (more than double the 656 completions in the same quarter in 2014), and 1,597 were approved (up by 4 per cent on the same quarter in 2014).

Local Authority Homes

There were 269 local authority completions between October and December 2014; 5 per cent down on the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 967. This is a 21 per cent (260 homes) decrease on the 1,227 completions the previous year.

There were 338 local authority starts between October and December 2014; 22 per cent higher than the number in the same quarter in 2013. This brings the total for the year to end December 2014 to 1,214. This is a 4 per cent (47 homes) increase on the 1,167 starts in the previous year.

More up-to-date figures show that, in January to March 2015, 343 local authority houses were completed (more than double the 153 completions in the same quarter in 2014), and 159 were started (down by 12 per cent on the same quarter in 2014).

Affordable Housing Completions

Affordable Housing Supply Programme (AHSP) statistics reflect the broader supply of affordable homes (i.e. for social rent, affordable rent and affordable home ownership) and include off the shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new build.

The latest information for the financial year 2014/15 shows that affordable housing completions have totalled 7,069 for the financial year, up 1 per cent on the previous year. This includes a small increase in social rent (up by 0.2 per cent or 8 homes), an increase in affordable rent (up by 17 per cent or 160 homes) and a decrease in affordable home ownership (down by 6 per cent or 111 homes). Total starts are up 11 per cent on the previous year to 6,641, while approvals are down 12 per cent on the previous year to 6,297.

A total of 26,972 affordable homes have been completed in the 4 years from 2011-12 as part of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, including 18,670 homes for social rent.

Right to Buy Applications and Sales

Following the announcement of the end of Right to Buy in July 2013 the number of applications and the number of sales both increased. The most recent figures available are for October to December 2014. During this period there were 625 Right to Buy applications (3 per cent lower than in the same quarter the previous year, but 36 per cent higher than in the same quarter in 2012) and 474 sales (53 per cent higher than in the same quarter in the previous year, and 60 per cent higher than in the same quarter in 2012).

Scottish sites facing skills shortages ‘on a daily basis’

Ross Mickel

Ross Mickel

Skills shortages in the Scottish construction sector are becoming more acute as trained workers leave for higher wages overseas, a senior executive at Mactaggart & Mickel has warned.

Ross Mickel, who runs the family owned housebuilder’s timber frame business and is a member of its group board, told The Herald that the issue was “rising up our risk register incredibly quickly”.

Among the factors the sector is facing up to are an ageing workforce, difficulty attracting new entrants and coping with the gaps left by the thousands of people who left the industry during the financial crisis and recession.

Mr Mickel, part of the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the company, said traditionally the business has been able to bring through its own apprentices and also attract other people from across the industry.

He told the newspaper: “But more recently it has been a struggle to get the level of person or the actual criteria that you want filled.

“There is certainly a shortage of skills in trade and we are seeing that on sites on a daily basis.”

Mr Mickel said the company is able to cope by moving people around to where they are needed but it was likely to have to start making more use of sub-contractors to meet its growth plans.

He said: “We are fortunate that we have a lot of our trades in-house so can work sites and move people around. They don’t have to be on one site the entire time.

“We don’t use sub-contractors much more than we used to but it is becoming more of a necessity.”

At the moment the company has 11 apprentices on site with people being trained as joiners, brickies, painters, plumbers and roughcasters.

The company’s current chief executive Ed Monaghan, also chairman of Construction Scotland, started his long association with the company as an apprentice painter.

Mr Mickel says “a lot of effort” goes into the company’s apprenticeship programme and ways to allow people to progress through the business.

He added: “It is very core to future proofing the business.

“I’m fourth generation and if we don’t recruit apprentices to work through [their] fields then we will be left with not the core that we have currently.”

The loss of thousands of construction jobs during the recession along with the age profile of the remaining workforce is further adding to skills problems.

Mr Mickel said: “Not that we have a demographic issue in the company but if you look around the industry there is a lot of people who are going to be leaving it soon or have left in the recession. Trying to backfill that is very hard.”

Although some trades people have been attracted to the south of England or overseas by the promise of higher wages, Mr Mickel is concerned construction is also suffering from an image problem.

He said: “The [profile of the] trades seem to have been lost in the last seven years. When I was growing up we would have conversations about brickies and plumbers.

“Now when you read the papers it is the next generation of people inventing a game for console or a software billionaire or something like that.

“There is not the good stories about the profession [construction] can be. There is still a great deal of craft skill involved in building a house and our guys take a lot of pride in it.”