News

Housing News: Rising Prices & Empty Homes

On average, house prices across Scotland rose by 8.8% over the last year, more than the UK average of 6.2%, according to figures released by the Bank of Scotland.

The average Scottish home now costs £207,778, an increase of £16,761 on 2020’s figure of £191,017.

The most expensive place to buy in Scotland remains Edinburgh. The nation’s capital now has an average house price of £293,406, up £19,160 (+7.0%) on last year. 

Empty Homes

In Orkney, Rachael Batty was appointed to the role of Development and Empty Homes Officer at Orkney Islands Council in May 2021.

Scotland has 25 empty homes officers across Scotland. Orkney first appointed a person to this role several years back. Orkney’s Empty Homes Officer Sets to Work

In 2020 Orkney had the third highest level of vacant dwellings within Scotland with an estimated 5.6% of the housing stock lying empty (National Records of Scotland). Rachael Batty will be working to identify and help bring these empty properties back into use.

In Scotland figures from NRS  show that as at September 2021, the number of long-term empty properties has decreased by 8% (3,567 properties) to 43,766. This follows on from an increase of 16% (6,370 homes) from 2019 to 2020, which was associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Click here for more information on Empty Homes in Orkney

New Builds in Scotland

The construction industry has been hit not just by the Covid pandemic but by a rise in materials and interruptions to their supply.

National Records of Scotland latest report shows that 14,834 all-sector new build homes were completed in Scotland in the year to end December 2020. This is a decrease of 35% (7,839 homes) on the previous year, with activity levels having been affected by lockdown measures from March to June 2020. Decreases were seen across private-led completions (37% or 6,130 homes), housing association completions (32% or 1,389 homes) and local authority completions (20% or 320 homes).

The number of new build homes started across all sectors also decreased over the same period, with 17,883 starts, a decrease of 27% (6,680 homes) on the previous year. Private-led starts dropped by 32% (5,596 homes), local authority starts dropped by 41% (860 homes) and housing association approvals dropped by 5% (224 homes).

houses completed
January to March 2021
comparison
January to March 2020
Total completions
to end March 2021
social housing 1,513decrease of 22% (415 homes)3,785, a decrease of 33% (1,887 homes)
 July to Sept 2021Total completions
to end Sept 2021
comparison with 2020
Affordable housing 2,094 completed8,792increase of 20% (1,464 homes)

 As at September 2021  the number of second homes in Scotland decreased by 2% (576 dwellings) to 23,890.

Blue House on the Hill – Jeanne Bouza Rose