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Scottish housing crisis as new starts slump to lowest on record

28 Aug 13 The trade body representing the Scottish home building industry has said that it is extremely disappointed but not surprised by the latest statistics in the sector.

Philip Hogg
Philip Hogg

Scotland’s figures for the latest quarter, published yesterday, showed that housing completions across all sectors fell by 25% and that starts had slumped to their lowest figure on record.

“Today’s figures reinforce the fact that Scotland is mired in a housing crisis," said Philip Hogg, the chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland. "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 build rate announced today points to a shortfall of around 160,000 by this time. With this equal to the number of people currently already on housing waiting lists, such an outcome would have severe long-term social and economic consequences.

“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.

“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."

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