“Modest” rise in housing completions doesn’t satisfy demand

Nicola Barclay

HOMES for Scotland (HFS) has welcomed new figures showing a 4.8% rise in the number of housing completions, but warned there is a “long road” ahead in tackling the nation’s housing issues.

Official statistics showed the number of home completions in Scotland last year was 17,739. However, HFS said this equates to just 806 extra homes compared with 2016 figures and that the current undersupply of housing is continuing to “stymie” options for all generations.

HFS chief executive 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 highlighted regional disparities through new data it was collating in relation to the geographies of its Local Home Builder Area Committees. The organisation said this shows housing growth last year was driven by the south east of Scotland (20.8%) and Highland & Moray (18.4%), whilst east central Scotland fell by 16.2%.  Nicola Barclay added, “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.”