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Members' Business: Concerns Regarding the Islands Housing Market

Wednesday 11 November 2020 6:00 PM


That the Parliament notes the concerns expressed regarding rising property prices in many parts of the Highlands and Islands; understands that there has been an increase in interest in rural housing markets since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; considers that rising house prices in areas with small numbers of available houses to buy is to the detriment of young island families, who are often unable to compete financially and, in some cases, find themselves up against bidders who are willing to buy without even setting foot on the island first; believes that this contributes to the continuing outward migration of young people; considers that the Highlands and Islands, and the Western Isles in particular, have worrying projections in terms of ageing and shrinking populations; recognises the importance of these communities for the maintenance of the Gaelic language; understands what it considers the pressing need for island communities to attract and welcome people from elsewhere; notes the belief that, if current demographic trends are to be reversed, the issues that young island families have, in terms of affordability and availability of housing, must be addressed, and notes the calls for Uist to be used as part of a trial where properties are advertised locally in the first instance.

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