Highlands & Islands

Fall in number of new-build homes in Highlands

The number of new homes completed in the Highlands fell by 32% between 2007 and 2010, according to a new report.

Highland Council's housing land audit showed 1,804 homes were built in 2007 compared to 1,223 in 2010.

Construction company bosses have previously raised concerns about the impact of the economic downturn and recession on house building.

The audit reports that despite the slowdown sufficient land has been identified for new properties.

The report sets out expected demand for homes over the next 18 years.

Up to the year 2014, a total of 10,759 properties will be needed, between 2015-2019 the figure is 10,419 and from 2029-29 a total of 12,974.

Earlier this week, Highland Council's housing and social work committee agreed in principle to build 750 new properties over the next five years.

The local authority hopes to secure funding for 101 homes in 2011-12.

In November 2010, a construction company boss said the previous 18 months had been the hardest the building industry had ever experienced.

UBC Group chief executive James Pedrana said the collapse of another firm, Rok, had left him "extremely saddened".

Mr Pedrana said trading conditions were tough but was cautiously optimistic of slight improvements in some areas.

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