This afternoon in the Scottish Parliament Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, raised the issue of soaring island house prices.
A recently published National Statistics UK House Price Index for Scotland showed that the Western Isles experienced the largest growth in house prices of any local authority area in Scotland between August 2022 and August 2021 at 27.7%.
The islands MSP highlighted that this is part of a trend which has seen house prices rise more than 81% since August 2015 – again higher than any other local authority in Scotland. The average price of a house in the Western Isles has gone from £91,859 to £166,373 over this time period.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“The Western Isles face serious challenges from depopulation over the coming years. We can all see this in things like falling rural school rolls, labour shortages and staffing challenges across our health and care services.
“Despite all this, sky-rocketing house prices are making it increasingly difficult for young islanders to get on the local housing market. We also have areas across the islands where a sizeable chunk of the housing stock is tied up in second homes and short-term lets.
“I am grateful to the Cabinet Secretary for agreeing to meet with me, and partners like Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, to discuss how we tackle the housing crisis.”