New homes increase but still long way off what’s required, say builders

Nicola Barclay

Scotland’s home builders have welcomed official statistics showing a 4.8 per cent increase in the total number of housing completions in 2017 (17,739) but highlighted the long road that lies ahead in tackling the country’s housing crisis as the figures equated to just 806 extra new homes on 2016 (16,933).

With the current undersupply of housing continuing to stymie the options of all generations, chief executive of representative body Homes for Scotland (HFS) Nicola Barclay, said: “It’s good news that the figures for both new housing starts and completions are positive but a modest 806 extra homes demonstrates the scale of challenge facing us at a time when we need to rapidly increase supply. Our members, who deliver homes of all tenures, tell us that difficulties with the regulatory consents process means they simply can’t get diggers on site quickly enough to satisfy the need and demand that exists.”

HFS also pointed to regional disparities across the country through new data it was collating in relation to the geographies of its Local Home Builder Area Committees.

This shows housing growth in 2017 was driven by the South East of Scotland (20.8%) and Highland & Moray (18.4%), whilst East Central Scotland fell by 16.2%.

On this, Barclay said: “It is vital Local Authorities and our member companies work together to ensure local areas get the homes they need to sustain their communities and economies.”

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