Housebuilding stalls in Scotland.

Housebuilding in Scotland falls 20%

Published:  28 May, 2010

EDINBURGH: The number of new houses built in Scotland last year fell by 20%, according to the latest government figures.

The biggest decline was in the private sector, which saw the number of houses built drop by a third compared with 2008. Ministers said the number of government-funded affordable homes built in the latest financial year increased to more than 5500, up about 1000 from the previous 12 months.

The number of loans issued to homebuyers in Scotland fell by a third in the first three months of this year. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said 9700 mortgages were issued between January and March. That was a drop on the previous quarter but a 28% increase on the same period in 2009.

The council said the latest fall was mostly caused by the rush to buy at the end of 2009 before the end of the stamp duty holiday.

Kennedy Foster, the council's policy consultant in Scotland, said: "The pace of recovery in Scotland at first sight appears slower than in the rest of the UK, but in fact throughout the current housing cycle, market activity in Scotland has followed that of the whole of the UK very closely, but with a lag of around one quarter."

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