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Housebuilders 'doing all we can'

‘Help young on to housing ladder’ industry tells Holyrood

Housebuilders are demanding more help from government to help those who currently believe they will never be able to afford their own home.

Nicola BarclayNew research reveals that two fifths of Scots do not believe that they will ever be able to buy a home despite the industry doing all it can to meet demand.

Nicola Barclay, the new chief executive of Homes for Scotland, says young people are keen to buy homes – as proved in recent research – but fear they will never have the money to buy one.

Ms Barclay believes that encouraging more building will ease house price inflation and that the government is in a position to help.

She said the building of new homes is 40% down on 2007 levels and emphasised the industry was “doing all it could” to step up production but that more government action was needed to ensure that Scotland’s housing meets the diverse needs.

Affordability continues to be a major issue, she said.

“It is therefore crucial that we see a significant increase in the production of all-tenure home building.  This is the only way to tackle house price inflation and would also alleviate pressure on other sectors.”

Ms Barclay said a 6% fall in home ownership in Scotland between 2009 and 2014 was down to the “dramatic decline” in home building and the difficulties many people have encountered in getting large mortgage deposits together.

“That is why we are calling on the next Scottish Government to manage a return to pre-recession levels of home building which would mean at least 100,000 new homes by the end of the next parliamentary term,” she said.

“With details of the next phase of the successful Help to Buy (Scotland) shared equity initiative recently announced, we are hopeful that this could go some way to helping achieve this target and enable more Scots to take steps onto and up the housing ladder.

“However, the impact of criteria changes and reduced funding for the successor scheme remains to be seen.”

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