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Affordable sector lags rise in home completions

Construction, housebuilding
Housebuilding completions in Scotland have increased (pic: Terry Murden)

A surge in new homes being completed has been seen as a positive move towards meeting government targets though the total figure remains well down on pre-Covid levels.

Completions surged by 26% to reach 20,056 for the year to the end of September 2021 helping the government to reach its 50,000 target.

Jane Wood, newly-appointed chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said: “Ensuring we have the homes that all those living in Scotland require to meet housing need and aspiration is essential to our country’s social wellbeing and economic success. So the increase in completions across all tenures… is clearly very welcome. 

“However, there is still a very long way to go.  Figures are still significantly down on activity levels pre-Covid and 20% below what we believe is required each year, so there is no room for complacency – particularly given the very difficult circumstances currently facing home builders in terms of labour and material shortages and the significant cost pressures that result, affecting both public and private sectors.”

Ms Wood highlighted the 44% drop in housing association approvals, adding: “Unfortunately, this is consistent with member feedback and demonstrates the importance of having effective, timely data to support policy-making and the wider economy of Scotland. 

“Urgent action must be taken to arrest this decline otherwise we will see ever decreasing numbers of affordable homes coming through the pipeline.”

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