House Building News … this week Scotland’s house builders will take the first steps back on to building sites, but buyers should be wary of expecting a quick return to normality. The Scottish Government will green light support for the first two steps in a six-step plan put forward by Scotland’s builders:
- Phase 1 – planning
- Phase 2 – pre-start site prep
- Phase 3 – ‘soft start to site works (where physical distancing can be maintained)
- Phase 4 – steady-state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained)
- Phase 5 – steady-state operation (with physical distancing and / or PPE use)
- Phase 6 – increasing density / productivity with experience
When the lockdown was introduced, the construction industry stopped all construction work in Scotland and ‘mothballed’ their sites, leaving individual properties in various stages of completion. Homes for Scotland (HFS) wrote to the First Minister recently saying there were around six thousand homes to be completed, worth in excess of £1 billion to the Scottish economy.
The office based elements of the property have kept going throughout lockdown, with staff (including Wallace Quinn conveyancing solicitors) working from home. Sales staff at many building works have this week begun taking reservations for plots and in the last week we have begun to receive instructions to act for new clients. However, the volumes reflect an industry taking the first tentative steps back to work rather than one opening up the flood-gates on pent up supply-and-demand.
Getting to the point where home-buyers can pick up the keys to a new property is a complicated process involving a vast range of trades and professions. Not everybody involved is initially obvious: we can all picture the bricklayer or electrician, but what about the Local Council officer who has to inspect the finished property and issue a Completion (Habitation) Certificate?
The last few months have been frustrating for everybody, especially those who had glimpsed the conveyancing finishing line when the lockdown began. Hopefully we’ll see the start of the escape from limbo this week, but we’ve got a fair distance to travel yet in order to keep everybody safe. After all, we all want the bricklayer, electrician and Building Standards Officer to be able to help more families into more new homes for many years to come.
House Building News – To see how much you will pay in conveyancing fees, outlays and government taxes when buying a new build property, click here.
As always, if you would like to speak to a Wallace Quinn solicitor on any legal aspect of your home life, work life or personal life, please get in touch.