Western Isles heads league of unoccupied Scots homes

THE number of vacant properties in Scotland has soared to a four-year high. More than 103,000 homes are lying empty – 4.2 per cent of the country's total.

The highest number are found in the Western Isles and Argyll and Bute, while North Lanarkshire has the fewest vacant.

The Bank of Scotland survey said the latest figure of 103,433 is the highest since 2004, when 104,668 empty properties were recorded.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Areas with high levels of vacancies were typically those where residents took home less than average earnings, in most cases around 12 per cent lower.

In the Western Isles 1,850 homes were unoccupied – 13.2 per cent of all properties.

Economist Suren Thiru said: "In many cases, high levels of vacant homes reflect relatively high levels of deprivation and lower than average earnings."

In North Lanarkshire just 1.6 per cent of homes lay empty. In Aberdeen the figure stood at 3.9 per cent and the proportion of vacancies in both Glasgow and Edinburgh was slightly higher at 4.1 per cent. Dundee was higher still at 7.4 per cent.

The Orkney Isles saw the biggest drop in the number of empty homes. The figure went down from 1,406 in 2003 to 904 in September 2008, when the latest report data was recorded.

A vacant home was classed as either a public or private dwelling which was empty because it was between occupants, undergoing modernisation or was a second home.