Rise in new homes for Scotland

Building IndustryOfficial figures have revealed that the number of new homes in Scotland has risen by seven per cent in the last year, the first annual increase since before the recession.

The new figures show that 15,957 new homes were delivered in Scotland in the year to March 2014, compared to 14,895 in the previous year. This is the first increase since 2007-08.

Private sector house building and housing association rehabilitations accounted for the largest share of this growth, with private sector-led new build completions rising nine per cent on the previous year, to 10,686.

The latest statistics also confirm that the Scottish Government remains on track to deliver on its target of 30,000 new affordable homes by 2016.

A total of 6,850 affordable homes were completed through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme in the year to June 2014, up nine per cent on the previous year. Approvals were up 25 per cent to 7,067, while starts were up 55 per cent at 6,530.

Local authority housing figures show that in the last year to March 2014, 1,140 new council houses were built in Scotland, the highest total in 25 years.

The Scottish Government has invested over £135 million through its Council House Building Programme, which has provided more than 4,000 new homes across Scotland since 2009.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “It is encouraging to see that the number of new homes in Scotland has risen in the last year, driven in large part by an increase in the number of private sector completions.

“Nonetheless, new housing supply remains well below pre-recession levels and I recognise that the house building industry continues to face a number of challenges.

“We are committed to working with organisations across the housing sector to address these, and work towards the shared goal of securing a sustained increase in housing supply.

“While we are making progress, the powers of independence would provide full flexibility over budgets, investment and innovative financing, allowing us to do even more to support the supply of new homes.”