THE majority of people in Scotland want house prices to remain at their current levels or to fall, according to a new survey by housing and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland.
Says a spokesperson: “The survey by YouGov found that 66 per cent – equivalent to 2,806,852 adults in Scotland – want house prices to remain the same or go down in value (1).
“Meanwhile 64 per cent – equivalent to 2,721,796 adults in Scotland – think house prices in Britain are too high.
“77 per cent – equivalent to 3,274,661 adults in Scotland – think that there is an urgent need for government to make housing more affordable for young couples and families.
“The findings come on the back of figures released today from the Office for National Statistics which show that in the 12 months to August 2013 UK house prices increased by 3.8 per cent, up from a 3.3 per cent increase in the 12 months to July 2013. In Scotland, there was little change in house prices, with a fall of 0.7 per cent. In Scotland the average mix-adjusted house prices in August 2013 stood at £185,000. (2)
“According to Shelter Scotland, governments in both Holyrood and Westminster need to do more to help stabilise house prices and make them more affordable for ordinary families and individuals.
“This comes amid fears that Westminster’s mortgage guarantee scheme, Help to Buy, will push prices even further out of reach of first time buyers by increasing demand at a time of a chronic housing shortage.”
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said:
“These days, high house prices don’t have the feel-good factor they once did, and for good reason. With an entire generation frozen out of home-ownership and being squeezed by high rents, there are lessons to be learned from the boom era – and the majority of people in Scotland agree.
“It’s hard to understand then why Westminster is rushing out the Help to Buy scheme when all the evidence shows that it won’t actually help the families who need it most.
“In fact, Help to Buy risks making the problem far worse by going back to the bad old days of big mortgages and easy lending. There is a real danger it will push up house prices, making it even harder for people to find a home they can afford.”
Shelter Scotland says that many of Scotland’s low to middle income families – on wages of between £20,000 and £40,000 – could not afford a family home with a 95 per cent Help to Buy mortgage.
Graeme Brown added:
“Rather than risk destabilising the housing market with taxpayers’ money – politicians on all sides should commit to a national programme of affordable and socially-rented house-building to help end Scotland’s housing crisis for good.”
Shelter Scotland is calling for the Scottish Government to commit to building at least 10,000 affordable homes each year to meet demand.
Notes to Editors:
1. YouGov poll for Shelter and Shelter Scotland, total sample size was 4,500 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 9th October 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). 66 per cent said they would like to see ‘house prices stay at their current level’ or ‘house prices go down’. The YouGov survey is based on a sample size of 392. Equivalent population figures having been calculated using Scotland Census 2011 results which show there are 4,252,806 people over 18 in Scotland.
2. Office for National Statistics data – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_329930.pdf
3. Shelter Scotland helps over half a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place. We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. For advice and support, visit www.shelterscotland.org or call 0808 800 4444.
4. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.
5. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterscotland Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
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Contact: Shelter Scotland