Increasing the supply of new homes north of the border would stimulate ‘economic growth’ in Scotland, not to mention provide more much needed new homes, according to a leading trade body.
Following the release of EY Scottish ITEM Club’s summer update this week in which it forecasts growth in the Scottish economy for 2017 to be half that of the UK, Homes for Scotland has responded by producing a report suggesting that building more properties could fill the economic void left by large, soon to be completed infrastructure projects such as the Queensferry Crossing.
The report emphasises the importance of business and government working together to de-risk investment, build confidence and drive economic growth.
As well as helping to deliver the biggest return in terms of skills, jobs, productivity and the other measures highlighted by the ITEM Club, building new homes of all types are also needed to meet the requirements of Scotland’s growing population, which also offers vital social benefits such as improved health and education outcomes, according to Homes for Scotland’s chief executive Nicola Barclay.
She said: “Whilst we need tens of thousands of new homes, latest figures show that Scotland remains in housing decline with our members telling me that it has never been harder to open new sites and get homes out of the ground.
“Research shows that returning to pre-recession levels of building by the end of this Scottish parliament would alone generate an additional £1.9bn in economic output and 38,000 jobs on an annual basis.
“What we need is a supportive policy framework which encourages housing investment and development, and which enables Scotland to reap these economic and social rewards.”