The Federation of Master Builders

Two-thirds of Scottish NIMBYs worried about house prices

Published date: 15 November 2017


Two-thirds of NIMBYs in Scotland admit to being frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy their own home, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s UK-wide research into NIMBYs (‘not-in-my-back-yarders’), or in other words people who tend to take an anti-development view to new homes being built in their area, include:

  • Across Scotland, almost two-thirds (65%) of home owners who are concerned about new houses or flats being built in their community also admit to feeling frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy a property in the local area;
  • Nearly one third (29%) of all Scottish home owners are concerned about houses or flats being built in their community having a negative impact on where they live;
  • Almost half (43%) of Scottish people feel frustrated their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren cannot afford to buy a property in the same area as them;
  • More home owners in England are NIMBYs than in Scotland. The lowest percentage of homeowners are NIMBYs in Northern Ireland. The percentage of home owners that are NIMBYs in each home nation is as follows:
  • England (34%)
  • Scotland (29%)
  • Wales (28%)
  • Northern Ireland (21%)

Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB Scotland, said: “We are still not building enough homes in Scotland. More than 24,000 houses were built in Scotland every year during the first nine years of the Scottish Parliament. However, since the economic downturn almost ten years ago, these figures started to slip and in 2016 just 16,498 new homes were built in Scotland. The importance of delivering more housing in Scotland is so great that Nicola Sturgeon has committed to delivering 50,000 more affordable homes over the course of this Parliament. One of the reasons why new homes don’t come forward can be the disproportionate power of the ‘not-in-my-back-yard’ gang - the NIMBYs.”

Vicky Biggar, aged 35 and residing in Edinburgh, is concerned about overdevelopment in Scotland. Vicky said: “I understand that the future generations will need to have somewhere to live. Yet, I am concerned about the impact new homes will have on the character on many towns in Scotland. If we are to build thousands of identical new build homes at once there will be no unique character in our towns any more. House building should happen organically if the homes are to last for generations to come.”

Nelson responded: “It’s ironic that two-thirds of Scottish NIMBYs admit to being frustrated that we’re not building enough homes for future generations while in the same breathe voicing concerns about new homes being built in their area. Our research lays bare the contradictory position that too many of us still fall into – we can’t have it both ways. Either we must accept that we need to significantly increase the numbers of new homes, or we must accept that future generations won’t enjoy the same quality of life as their parents and grandparents. The next generation quite rightly aspires to own their own home and for their elders to take an anti-development stance will deny many of them this.”

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