Private housebuilding in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level in almost three decades

Figures published by the Scottish government last week revealed that 11,447 private sector homes were built last year. This is the lowest level since 1981, when 11,021 were completed.
The figures are the latest evidence of the sharp decline in the sector. In 2007, 21,674 houses were completed, falling to 17,712 in 2008.

Jonathan Fair, chief executive of housebuilders’ trade association, Homes for Scotland, said: “Today’s figures are further proof of the extent of Scotland’s housing crisis. We believe total housing output will struggle to exceed 12,000 units this year, less than half pre-credit crunch levels and less than half of what is required to simply stand still.”

On a brighter note, the number of affordable homes funded by the Scottish government rose to 5,846 in 2009-10, its highest level in almost 30 years, and a rise of 30% on the previous year.

During 2008/09, 4,913 affordable homes were built and 2,609 in 2006/07.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders said the number of mortgage loans in Scotland fell by a third in the first three months of 2010.

Fair said: “The government must address the mortgage issue once and for all and maintain investment in housing. Otherwise, the social and economic consequences will be severe.”