Posted Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Figures released by the National Records of Scotland suggest there are nearly 80,000 empty homes in Scotland, a disgraceful number.

Sharp rises in the number of empty and under-used second homes must be tackled by the Scottish Government to halt the housing crisis.

Edinburgh came out with the highest number of empty properties, with the capital having nearly 8000 empty properties, followed by Glasgow which had over 7500.

In 2007, 2.67% of properties in Scotland were empty, but this has grown to over 3% in 2018.

The report highlights the discrepancy in how the figure is measured, with Scottish Government metrics only identifying 37,000 empty homes, and freedom of information requests revealing that only two-thirds of Scottish councils employ empty homes officers to tackle the problem.

One Scottish MP told us: “People are crying out for affordable housing, yet we have a total of over 100,000 empty and under-used second homes across the country. It’s incredulous that the proportion of empty homes is rising and astonishing that not all councils have empty homes officers to bring properties into use.

“The Scottish Government has long overlooked the issue of empty homes and there’s a risk its response will be too little too late. Second homes remain a blight in many communities and inflating house prices beyond the reach of local people.”

Urban areas such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Tayside and Fife had the highest number of empty homes, but proportionally rural areas had a higher percentage of empty homes compared to the total number of properties.

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