Scottish housing minister Kevin Stewart has welcomed a 15% increase in Scotland’s supply of new housing but has warned that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could have a damaging effect on future growth.
More than 22,000 homes have become available in Scotland in the past year - nearly 3,000 more homes than the previous year. The figures include private-led and social sector new builds, as well as conversions and renovations.
This is the sixth consecutive annual increase in Scotland’s housing supply, the highest annual figure since 2008-09, and for the first time since 1980, local authority housing stock has also increased.
Stewart said: “We want to ensure everyone has a warm affordable home and these figures show we are on target to reach delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021. However, I am deeply concerned that all our good work towards increasing Scotland’s housing supply could be significantly undermined by a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
“Private house builders are particularly vulnerable to the implications of Brexit. Construction material imports to the UK from EU member states accounted for more than 60% of the total value of construction material imports to the UK in 2018.
“In addition, more than 7,000 EU nationals were employed in the Scottish construction sector in 2017. A ‘no deal’ Brexit poses significant risks to builders’ supply chains and the construction workforce in Scotland.
“Housing is yet another example of the deep damage that could be done to Scotland by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit,” said the minister.