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Latest figures just published by the Scottish Government
New research published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician has revealed an increase on the number of empty properties.
As of September 2020, the number of long-term empty properties has increased by 6,370 properties, from 40,963 last year to 47,333 in 2020, an increase of 16%.
The report states this increase is likely to be attributable to the COVID1-19 pandemic, which has impacted the rental and sales markets. Restrictions on movement are likely to have a range of other impacts.
The figures also showed an increase in the number of affordable homes being built.
There were 1,057 affordable housing supply homes completed in the latest quarter, July to September 2020, an increase of 860 homes on the 197 completions in the previous quarter, April to June 2020.
However, about half the number (51%) of affordable homes were completed in the latest quarter compared with the same period last year, when there were 2,087 completions recorded.
Shaheena Din, national project manager for Scottish Empty Homes Partnership responded to the news:
“We were anticipating some increase in the number of long-term empty homes, but a 16% rise is very significant. The figures published today show that lockdown and the pandemic have led to more homes becoming empty and more homes remaining empty.
“More worryingly, the full impact of COVID-19 on the number of long term empty homes is still emerging, and the figures may continue to rise for some time.
“We would urge every council that does not currently have a dedicated empty homes service to invest in tackling the problem of homes becoming and remaining long term empty as a result of the pandemic.”
The full statistical report can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.