Home ownership dreams ‘being stifled’, warn builders

Nicola Barclay
Nicola Barclay

New research has suggested that two fifths (40 per cent) of Scottish non-homeowners do not believe they will ever be able to buy their own house.

Bank of Scotland’s latest How Scotland Lives research has found that just over a quarter (26 per cent) believe this to be a normal situation to be in, while 14 per cent are concerned about the prospect of never being a homeowner.

Home building industry trade body Homes for Scotland warned that the aspirations of many individuals and families across the country were being stifled.

As the building of new homes remains 40 per cent down on 2007 levels, Homes for Scotland chief executive Nicola Barclay emphasised the industry was doing all it could to step up production but that more government action was needed to ensure that Scotland’s housing meets the diverse needs of all those living here.

Ms Barclay said: “Whilst it is encouraging that the Bank of Scotland report reveals that younger generations are more optimistic about buying a home, the reality of the situation is that affordability continues to impact on this most fundamental of ambitions. It is therefore crucial that we see a significant increase in the production of all-tenure home building. This is the only way to tackle house price inflation and would also alleviate pressure on other sectors.”

Barclay’s comments also followed the launch in England of the ‘Redfern review into the decline of home ownership’. With Scotland experiencing a six per cent fall between 2009 and 2014, she attributed this to the dramatic decline in home building and the difficulties many people have encountered in getting large mortgage deposits together.

Ms Barclay added: “That is why we are calling on the next Scottish Government to manage a return to pre-recession levels of home building which would mean at least 100,000 new homes by the end of the next parliamentary term.

“With details of the next phase of the successful Help to Buy (Scotland) shared equity initiative recently announced, we are hopeful that this could go some way to helping achieve this target and enable more Scots to take steps onto and up the housing ladder. However, the impact of criteria changes and reduced funding for the successor scheme remains to be seen.”

Share icon
Share this article: