Number of new home starts continues to fall

Homes for Scotland Chief Executive Jane Wood

ALTHOUGH new statistics show an increase in housing delivery in the year to end June 2023, they also reveal this has been offset by a continuing downward trend in the number of new starts.

Scottish Government figures published today report a 12 per cent fall in new home starts in the year to end June 2023, offsetting a 6.3 per cent increase in completions for the same period and further compounding the 17 per cent decrease in starts in year to end June 2022. 

Jane Wood, Chief Executive of sector body Homes for Scotland (HFS), which represents members delivering the majority of the country’s new homes, said:

“Our concerns regarding the downward trend in starts is not abating, with the 12% decrease year end to June 2023 evidencing the ongoing challenges and blockers facing our members in delivering the homes of all tenures that our country so badly needs. 

“The sustained increase in completions is welcomed (rising 9% in 2022 and 6.3% in 2023) and clearly demonstrates both the high demand for new homes as well as the capacity of the home building sector to deliver more across the country. However, unless the challenges surrounding land availability and wider consents process are addressed, the number of completions in future years are likely to decrease.“

“With every new home built in Scotland supporting 3.5 jobs but the number of major residential planning applications having fallen dramatically, it is crucial that we maintain the momentum in housing delivery to ensure future employment and investment opportunities are realised across both private and social sectors. 

“Our Board recently discussed the current challenges facing the home building sector, as well as the social and economic benefits that come from increased housing delivery, directly with Housing Minister Paul McLennan MSP at its meeting last week and we remain committed to working with the Scottish Government to achieve this.”

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