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Report Published on Improving Scottish Housing Market

The RICS led an independent Scottish Housing Commission which has published its proposals to improve Scotland’s housing market.

The Commission is comprised of experts from the housing industry and, also included written and oral evidence provided by industry representatives. The Commission has developed these recommendations to assist the Scottish Government and other policy makers remove barriers in the Scottish housing market.

The report outlines that measures required to address potential crises in Scotland’s housing market are; the expansion of the current Scottish Government Housing Policy Advisory Group,  the creation of a more robust private rented sector and a renewed emphasis on establishing a sufficient quantity and quality of land for housing, including the creation of new communities across Scotland.

The report further suggests that an increased level of attention in the private rented sector could help take some pressure off the market. The latest RICS Residential Market Survey, shows that a net balance of 25% of chartered surveyors reported a rise in tenant demand within the private rented sector, with respondents reporting increase in demand in 2014.

Furthermore, the report recommends that the Scottish Government create a Change Fund to support the social housing sector. The social housing sector could potentially play a major role in delivering more efficient housing outcomes in Scotland.

However, financially the evidence from lenders suggests that the risk rating of the housing association sector in Scotland has grown as a result of welfare and pension reforms, as well as a reduction in capital subsidies.The proposed fund would facilitate potential partnerships, help shape new business models, evaluate transfers of stock between organisations, and help provide a incentive to give greater vitality to the sector.

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