Scotland’s home builders today welcomed official statistics showing a 3% increase in new house building for 2017-18 (17,731) compared with the previous year (17,293) but highlighted a mixed picture in the detail of the figures, with 16% fewer (532) private sector-led homes completed in Q1 2018 compared with the same quarter in 2017.
With the private sector playing a key role in assisting the Scottish Government to meet its ambitious affordable housing targets, Chief Executive at representative body Homes for Scotland (HFS) Nicola Barclay commented:
“We are encouraged to note these latest statistics indicate a positive overall picture for affordable housing approvals as well as the wider sector. Whilst the extreme weather conditions earlier in the year made delivery challenging, it is essential that we are not complacent when it comes to our efforts to increase supply across all tenures.
“As well as enabling increased activity from smaller builders, sustained confidence from investors is essential to support growth from medium to larger builders within a competitive UK environment. It is also crucial that the labour market is geared up across the sector, with skills shortages already creating challenges on sites across Scotland.
“In addition to the above, the Planning (Scotland) Bill represents a key opportunity to recalibrate our planning system so it can deliver what the people of Scotland need: enough high-quality homes in the right places to meet need and demand. HFS is working hard to persuade politicians and communities that a good system is one in which we collaborate effectively in order that precious time, resource and funds can be chanelled into the development of vibrant places and the delivery of more homes.”