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Significant fall in number of new Highland homes built in 2008

17th March 2009

A report published by The Highland Council shows that a progressive fall in the number of housing completions in 2008 highlights the increasing impact of the current recession on the housing market.

In 2008, 1,471 new houses were completed; a 19% decrease on the 2007 figure of 1,806 new homes. This is the first significant drop in the housing completions in the Highlands since 2001. The pattern of housing completions during 2008 shows a progressive reduction in the number of completions in each of the final three quarters of the year.

In 2008 major housing completions (where 5 or more homes were built) accounted for 48% of development.

The largest increases in housing development between 2007 and 2008 were in the Highland Council Wards of:

Black Isle 91% increase (21 new homes);
Eilean a' Che 75% increase (69 homes);
Caol and Mallaig 113% increase (36 homes);
Fort William and Ardnamurchan 21% increase (60 new homes).

Council Wards recording significant levels of reductions in housing completions between 2007 and 2008 were:

Thurso 55% reduction (30 less new homes);
Inverness Central 73% (94 less new homes);
Culloden and Ardersier 51% (49 less new homes);
Inverness South 45% (218 less new homes)

Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning, Environment and Development Committee, said: "The change to housing completions is variable across the Highlands with some showing areas actually showing an increase in housing completions but with an overall decrease of 19%. The Council continues to work closely with communities, agency partners and developers to promote high quality housing developments across the Highlands and explore ways of addressing the many challenges of the current economic downturn."

Stuart Black, the Council's Director of Planning and Development Services, added: Although the overall figures in the Housing Completions annual report show a Highland-wide decrease in the number of new homes being built in the Highlands they were still above the levels in 2004 and 2005. We have recently reinforced the Council's commitment to an Economic Downturn Action Plan which provides short, medium and long term actions in housing including 5m additional funds allocated for affordable housing with another 2m for land purchase for low cost housing."


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