New build approvals in Scotland on the rise
The number of affordable houses being approved in Scotland during 2016 increased by around 20 per cent, according to the latest Quarterly Housing Statistics for Scotland. The rise has been hailed as good news by Kevin Stewart, housing minister.
During 2016, a total of 8,840 affordable homes were approved, which is 20 per cent more than in 2015. Houses for social rental and home ownership markets were included in the figures.
Looking at social rented properties alone, approvals for new builds saw an increase of 17 per cent during last year. A total of 5,101 social rental properties were approved, suggesting that the sector could soon see a boost.
Mr Stewart told the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland annual conference in Glasgow: “Ensuring access to good quality and affordable housing is a key priority for the Scottish government, therefore it is encouraging that 20 per cent more properties were approved and started last year…
“Alongside our commitment to deliver 50,000 more affordable homes over the next five years - with 35,000 available for social rent - this will all contribute to increasing the availability of affordable homes across Scotland.”
As well as new build approvals, the statistics also showed there was an increase in the number of new homes being completed during 2016. In the 12 months to September last year, there were 157 more homes completed than in the previous year, showing a one per cent increase on 2015's 16,152 completions.
The number of new homes starting construction also increased between July and September 2016 when compared to the same period in the previous year. Building started on a total of 4,322 new homes was seen during this quarter, which is a three per cent rise on 2015's figures.
Increases in housing stock across Scotland could present more opportunities for landlords looking to expand their property portfolios and better meet the demand for rental homes in the country.