Blog: What the Scottish Housing sector can expect in 2016/17
After winning most seats in the Scottish parliamentary election, but not a majority, the Scottish National Party (SNP) have decided to form a minority administration. Mike Basquill, UK residential associate director at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) estimates what the housing sector in Scotland can expect over the next year.
The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon MSP repeated the SNP pre-election commitment to build at least 50,000 new affordable homes over the next five years — 35,000 of which will be for social rent — as part of £3 billion investment.
We believe that the Scottish Government has to look beyond affordable housing; increasing supply across all tenures and widening house building participation.
Warm Homes Bill
This bill will tackle fuel poverty and is likely to introduce minimum EPC ratings for all homes for sale or rent in Scotland. We are very keen for the act to include measures to improve the maintenance and condition of Scotland’s existing housing stock. By providing funding for home maintenance works, more homes will be fit for installation of energy efficiency measures.
Home owners and landlords will also need significant lead-in time and funding options to assist in the financial burden on home improvement.
The review of the Scottish Planning System reported in May included 43 recommendations to enhance the planning system in Scotland. We are waiting for a response from the Scottish Government but we would expect the report’s recommendations to feed into the anticipated planning bill.
Help to Buy
Four of the five political parties pledged the continuation of this demand-side supporting scheme, so it is likely that we will see it go ahead; how much it is worth will depend on Scottish budget allocations and chamber support.