Trade body calls for Budget to support “sustainable housing growth”

Nicola Barclay

THE Scottish Government has been urged to build on housing growth when it delivers this week’s Budget north of the border.

Nicola Barclay, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said that while news regarding ongoing growth in the number of new houses being built is “great to see”, just under 700 extra homes over the past year isn’t enough to solve the nation’s housing “crisis”. She added, “In order to return to the levels of a decade ago, we would need to see ten times this number on an annual basis.

“Scotland’s housing market remains amongst the most affordable places to live in the UK, and huge social and economic opportunities exist for the Scottish Government to attract further housing investment from both within Scotland and elsewhere – if it can create and maintain the favourable conditions this requires.

“Ways in which this can be achieved include ensuring the Planning Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament meets the original objective of delivering more homes; encouraging more entrants into the industry; supporting those SMEs who want to develop more homes; preserving a regulatory environment that promotes investment and ensuring policies like Help to Buy are continued until such times that the mortgage market fully supports first time buyers.

“Ultimately, it needs joined-up thinking across portfolios, therefore we look forward to seeing how tomorrow’s Budget supports sustainable housing growth so builders can contribute even more to Scotland’s social wellbeing and economic success.”