Edinburgh Council is failing to tackle rising house prices which are set to hit ten times the median salary – John McLellan

I don’t know what the digital equivalent of a broken record is, but at risk of sounding like one, the new house price data showing the average Edinburgh cost had broken the £300,000 barrier once again exposes the inadequacy of Edinburgh Council’s response to rising demand.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 4:45 pm
Demand for housing is outstripping supply (Picture: John Giles/PA)
Demand for housing is outstripping supply (Picture: John Giles/PA)

With average prices rising 14.5 per cent to £316,000, according to property solicitors Lindsays, interest rates set to increase, and demand continuing to outstrip supply, there is unlikely to be much respite this year.

Estate agent Rettie conservatively predicts a 2.5 per cent rise this year, thanks to higher borrowing and the so-called “race for space” losing momentum as working from home patterns level out, but even that pushes average Edinburgh prices up to £325,000 and the ten per cent Land & Building Transaction Tax threshold.

So this time next year the real cost of buying an average Edinburgh house could be a minimum of £357,000, ten times the £35,678 median annual wage estimated by the Edinburgh Poverty Commission last year.

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So what’s the council response? “We have a plan to build 20,000 affordable homes,” said housing convener Kate Campbell, except it’s just a vague ambition not a real plan with deadlines, costings, and locations.

The target for 10,000 affordable homes by May this year was missed by half, and the already widely discredited City Plan doesn’t even try to meet demand and basically pretends none of this is happening. Maybe no administration could meet the challenge, but a different one could be more realistic and open.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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