Property Positives In Scotland
Scottish Estate agents are predicting record sales in late July as the country slowly comes out of lockdown. In fact, experts believe more than 10,000 properties will change hands as bottled up demand is released.
This is certainly good news for everyone involved, including those hard-working businesses home-owners depend on to provide a range of important services at reasonable cost.
The trade body Homes For Scotland revealed in it’s report late last year, the country needs more SME Builders. It cited local development plans should provide viable local development opportunities targeted at small-scale house-builders, with clearly worded policy stating where windfall development is supported.
When it comes to planning the trade body advises the Scottish Government to produce fresh positive guidance on planning for increased delivery of new homes by small-scale home-builders, as quickly as possible.
Nicola Barclay, chief executive at HFS, said at the time: “Smaller companies generally have fewer resources and limited routes to finance which make the challenges of home-building all the more difficult to overcome.”
Craig McLaren, director of RTPI Scotland, commented: “It is useful that Homes for Scotland has highlighted the potential of SME home-builders to help deliver more, much needed housing. It is also helpful that the report points out the ongoing issue of funding and coordinating infrastructure to support new housing as this continues to be a key challenge for developers and local authorities alike.”
As the new year got going of course, a certain pandemic arrived.
Helping Our Small Builders
So what could the Government do to boost the confidence of our small builders?
In terms of those skilled workers who both renovate properties and create our all important extensions, a move to reduce VAT would help stimulate and boost confidence in this invaluable are of the construction market. Not only would this lighten the load for customers and investors alike – it would also go some way to restoring the balance after the financial fall out emanating from managing the coronavirus pandemic. Remember – VAT is still sitting at 20 per cent. But as we look toward a new prosperous Britain, would even a slight reduction make such a difference set against the benefits small builders add to the economy?
You know what they say – ‘you have to speculate to accumulate’.
The upshot seems to be If SME house-builders can go back to to pre-recession levels of output, they could add more than 2,000 additional homes a year to Scotland’s housing supply. This would be more prevalent in areas where larger volume developers don’t currently build.
Coronavirus may have slowed up progress, but builders, home buyers and sellers and investors all have a golden opportunity to build a better and stronger future together.
With a bit of vision and enterprise, both the government and local authorities can all help in driving our small builders forward to future prosperity. And let’s be honest, this would benefit the economy all round. Now isn’t that worth serious consideration.