Affordable homes

Boost for Scotland’s construction industry

The Scottish GovernmentThe number of new homes started by private sector builders in the year to June 2012 was the highest recorded since the banking crisis started in 2008 according to official statistics.

Over that period, 10,827 new homes were started, a 24 per cent increase on the previous year. This increase follows three years of recorded annual decreases in private sector new build starts.

The statistics reflect new starts by house builders building for private sale, alongside other house building activity by construction companies throughout Scotland such as for RSL shared equity developments and self-build.

There was also a continued increase in the number of council houses across Scotland, with local authorities completing 1,206 new homes in the year to September 2012, the highest number since 1990.

Across all sectors 14,032 houses were started to June 2012, up by 4% compared to the same period last year.

Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “Scotland’s construction sector has faced the full force of the economic downturn.

“Times are still very tough, with high deposit requirements and reduced mortgage availability continuing to prove a barrier to recovery in the housing market.

“However, I welcome these latest statistics and hope this increased activity can spark an economic revival for the industry. Every house started supports jobs for bricklayers, joiners, plumbers and the wider supply chain.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the industry and boost supply. We plan to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of the Parliament, backed by investment of at least £760 million in the next three years.

“We have allocated almost £115 million to local authorities across Scotland, which is helping deliver over 4,400 council homes.

“And we are stimulating growth through the innovative National Housing Trust initiative and our shared equity schemes.

“We have also offered a guarantee to support up to 6,000 new build house purchases through a housing industry-led Mortgage Indemnity Scheme, to help address the banks’ requirements for high deposits.”

£10 billion fund could build 300,000 new homes a year and create new jobs

The Future Homes Commission has set out plans to fund a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

The Commission, set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects, has called on Government to use council pension pots to fund a massive housing programme that could see the building of 300,000 homes a year and boost the construction industry.

The Homes Commission argues for the creation of a new £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, financed by the largest Local Authority pension funds, that would use 15% of their assets to invest in new rental and shared ownership housing.

The new scheme would play a lead role for the government to use localassets to lead the creation of sustainable communities and meet local housing needs as well as create thousands of jobs in the building construction industry.

A similar approach to that proposed is being pioneered by Manchester City Council, which is working with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to build 244 homes.

The city council will release land into the joint venture at fair market valuation and GMPF will inject £25 million to pay for building work.

Both partners will then receive a capital payment on the sale of houses and an annual revenue return.

Good News for the Trades as Three Firms Announce to Build New Homes in Scotland

Three of the leading UK housebuilders are set to build thousands of new homes as part of a major transformational project in Bishopton, South West Scotland, creating new jobs in the building construction sector. 

Taylor Wimpey, CALA and Persimmon have reached an agreement with the defence giant BAE Systems to build around 600 energy efficient homes on the former Royal Ordnance Factory site in Bishopton.

More than 2,500 new homes will be built over the 15-year development programme, making this one of the most exciting property developments taking place in the UK at the moment.

Construction work on the first phase of the £32 million residential development is scheduled to start in September 2012. During its construction phase, the project is expected to create around 4,000 full and part-time employment opportunities for local residents and people in the trades.

Project Director for BAE Systems, Lynda Johnstone, said: “It is testament to the scale and quality of the transformation project that it has sparked the high level of interest from property developers of the calibre of Taylor Wimpey, CALA and Persimmon.

“The multi-million pound regeneration programme will see high quality homes in the area and deliver a new community, which alongside the housing development will include a new primary school, library, community centre, leisure facilities and woodland park to complement the existing friendly, close-knit village feel of Bishopton.”

The regeneration is expected to deliver significant employment and business opportunities with the first homes going on sale in early 2013.

 

 

More Construction JOBS in South East England

One of the largest providers of affordable housing in the South of England, Sovereign Housing Association, has announced it will build more than 3, 000 new homes over the next four years, paving the way for jobs in the building construction industry.

The ambitious plan will see 1, 064 new homes built by the end of this financial year, 865 of which have been already identified, the housing association confirmed last week. Under Sovereign’s new development strategy at least 276 of the new homes will be for affordable home ownership, forecasting a similar number of homes to be completed in 2013/14.

Development and Commercial Director at Sovereign, Phil Stephens, said: “The top priorities of our development strategy are to ensure that we deliver the HCA Affordable Homes Programme and to play our part in achieving Sovereign’s aim of reaching 50,000 homes by 2015,”

“Our recent successful bond issue has given us the financial strength and flexibility to continue delivering a substantial programme of new homes in our core operating areas in the coming years.”- added Mr Stephens.

It was revealed that Sovereign’s development will include a significant number of shared ownership homes as well as a growing number of market rent properties in key locations.

Mr Stephens commented that there is a definite gap in the market rent properties due to the rising demand from people unable to buy their own homes.

He said: “We will be looking to build on the positive experiences we have had so far letting homes at market rates in the West Country, and not only develop a broader portfolio of properties, but also diversify our revenue streams to enable us to continue providing affordable homes into the future.”