Scotland’s largest cities need thousands of new family homes, according to a new Bank of Scotland report.
The report revealed that more than three in five people in Scotland (62%) own their own home, with 29% owning the property outright while 33% have a mortgage. Over a third (36%) rent a home or live with family and friends.
Rental agreements secured through letting agents and landlords represent 12% of the housing market in Scotland, while social housing makes up 14% of the sector.
According to the Bank of Scotland, there are some marked differences across the country. Glasgow apparently has the lowest home ownership with 39% owning their home, while the Highlands and Islands has the highest with home ownership at 68%. Glasgow has the highest number of renters, with 25% renting privately and 20% renting social housing.
The over-50s in Scotland typically live in larger homes than younger age groups. In the past there would have been an expectation that this group would downsize, however today only 8% say they have any plans to do so.
This has significant implications for the housing market, not least in terms of housing mobility as most downsizers sell their homes to second steppers who are often looking to buy larger family homes.
According to the report, there is no single solution to this complex and multi-layered series of challenges, but the research suggests that there is a need for:
- Continued help for first time buyers looking to get onto the property market.
- Development of a new professional renting sector (both private and social) that will provide a realistic long term option for those that either do not want to buy or can’t afford to buy a house.
- A need for more family homes in cities which are of both an acceptable standard and affordable. This push for additional housing must be accompanied by high quality neighbourhoods that provide pleasant, safe, secure environments, served by good schools, transport and other services.
- Identifying obstacles preventing the over 50-year-olds from moving, and developing housing that meets the needs of older generations who are in both work and retirement for longer than ever before.
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