I was pleased that John Swinney has announced £40m for affordable housing to be spent as part of the Scottish Budget for 2013/14. This money is to be used to support the construction industry and inject growth into the economy by way of investment in affordable housing. I think this is a welcome announcement and, coupled with the Scottish Government’s help for first time buyers, shows the importance that all Governments are placing on the construction industry to the economy and recognises the immediate economic and social benefits in building more affordable homes. I do think in particular that the Scottish and UK Governments should do more to help first time buyers because, until they get first time buyers moving into the market in stronger numbers, neither the property market nor the construction industry will fully stabilise. As I have said before, I am concerned that the rental sector is overheating with an increasing demand causing rents to rise rapidly.
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