New statistics released in the Quarterly Housing Statistics for Scotland show a four per cent rise in new homes completed, compared to the previous year.
16,004 new homes were completed in the year to September 2015, an increase of 556 on the previous year’s figure of 15,448.
Of that total, the figures show that 4,021 new build homes were completed in the period July to September 2015, a 21 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure for the same quarter.
4,117 new build homes were also started in the same period, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year, bringing the total for the year end to September 2015 to 17,360 homes started, a nine per cent increase on last year’s figure of 15,955.
Housing Minister, Margret Burgess, said, “As these positive figures illustrate, our increased investment in house building has helped stimulate a welcome rise in completions across all types of homes.
“This is a team effort; we will continue to work with all sectors to promote the building of new homes and support jobs in the construction industry.
“We have a strong record on housing, having exceeded our target of delivering 30,000 affordable homes in this Parliamentary term.
“Over the next five years we have committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes, which represents a 67 per cent increase on our current target, backed up with investment of more than £3 billion.”
Ed Monaghan, chief executive of housebuilder Mactaggart & Mickel Group, called the figures “welcome news for the industry, especially during a time of change and uncertainty.
“With house prices and sales also on the increase, it marked a buoyant end to 2015 which we as a business have seen continue into the first quarter of 2016 in terms of footfall and reservations. The new year and launch of the latest tranche of Help to Buy (Scotland) funding in January will hopefully continue to drive the market.”
He added, “We will, however, be continuing to monitor the impact of Land and Building Transaction Tax on the sale of top tier properties.”
Chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, Nicola Barclay, welcomed the news, also highlighting the role of the Help to Buy shared equity scheme in the creation of more Scottish homes before warning that the housing sector isn’t out of the woods yet.
She said, “With an all-tenure approach crucial to effectively tackling Scotland’s chronic undersupply of housing, these latest statistics indicating that all sectors have shown increases in completions over the last year are welcome.
“However, we are still some way off our manifesto call for 10% year-on-year growth to address the backlog of demand and there are a number of uncertainties in the market including the impact of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), the on-going planning review and more restrictive criteria for Help to Buy going forward.”