Home ownership drop ‘result of private home building decline’

Philip Hogg
Philip Hogg

A six per cent fall in home ownership levels between 2009 and 2014 is largely the result of the dramatic decline in private home building and ongoing issues surrounding large mortgage deposits, according to a homebuilder’s trade body.

Commenting after publication of the 2014 Scottish Household Survey, Homes for Scotland’s chief executive, Philip Hogg, said a 40 per cent drop in new homes leaves people with little choice but to rent privately.

He said: “With research actually pointing to the continued long term preferences for home ownership for many, we believe this drop to be very much the result of circumstance rather than a change in aspiration as those in the ‘squeezed middle’ have been left with little option other than to rent privately following a more than 40 per cent fall in home building activity since 2007 coupled with the difficulty many who wish to buy still face in terms of getting large mortgage deposits together.

“Ensuring we have enough homes of all types in the right locations to meet the diverse housing needs of those living in Scotland is absolutely vital to our country’s social wellbeing and future success. It will also help address the imbalance between demand and supply which is continuing to place increasing pressure on the social sector as well as pushing up house prices and rents to record levels.

“But this requires radical action on a whole range of measures from planning and infrastructure to skills and training, and access to finance for both buyers and developers.

“Only through such joined-up policy-making, however, will we be able to ensure Scots have access to the wide range of quality housing options they deserve.”