Research reveals ‘significant’ regional variations in Scottish housing numbers

Nicola Barclay

A trade body has claimed that scrutiny of official housing statistics in Scotland has found ‘significant variations’ across regions and tenures.

Homes for Scotland (HFS) revealed that Strathclyde benefited from a 55% increase in new housing starts for Q2 2019 compared with a year earlier. However, east central and south east areas actually saw construction activity drop.

HFS said that across the country, social housing starts were down almost 10% and completions down 19%. In the south east region, the number of new social housing starts was down 82%.

The findings were released in the same week as the latest planning performance statistics showed that major housing applications are still taking more than twice as long as the 16-week statutory timeframe.

HFS chief executive Nicola Barclay said, “Reflecting exactly what our members are telling us, our analysis highlights the fragility of the housing sector. The planning performance statistics further demonstrate how far there is to go to ensure we have a system that facilitates rather than frustrates development.

“Ahead of the Scottish Budget on 6 February, both sets of figures underscore the importance of ongoing Scottish Government drive and determination to deliver more new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes of all tenures. There simply can be no room for complacency when it comes to building the range of homes required to meet the housing needs and aspirations of those living in Scotland.”