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New SNP leader: Scottish agent warns of ‘difficult times’ for property market 

The election of Humza Yousaf as the new leader of the Scottish National Party yesterday was immediately met with concern from a major agency brand.

Yousaf also becomes the new First Minister of Scotland following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation earlier this year but David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander Scotland, said it is concerning for the housing sector given that he stood as the continuity candidate.

Alexander said: “If he does persist with the existing housing policy of Sturgeon then I foresee some very difficult times for Scotland’s tenants.


“The low numbers of social housing, the reluctance to support housebuilding, and the negative attitude toward the private rented sector have all resulted in fewer homes for Scots, rising rents, increased evictions for tenants, and a housing waiting list that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

“I would welcome a positive approach from Mr Yousaf if he is not to replicate the mistakes of the previous administration. The concern is that he will continue to view housing as a political rather than a social issue and seek to demonise parts of the housing sector.”

He said a proper housing strategy requires planning over a 10 or even 20-year period with target-lead proposals to ensure that planning regulations, land development, and financial incentives are developed to encourage the right homes in the right areas both to reflect the current and future needs of Scottish society.

Alexander added: “We need a long-term, fundamental rethink on the delivery of housing for homeowners, for tenants in the public and private sector, and in the way that new housing is delivered. 

“Housing must be a major part of the new administrations’ plans. New social and private building developments with large scale infrastructure investment would produce jobs, create wealth, and provide homes for people who want to work and live in Scotland.”


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