Philip Hogg, chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, said: “Today’s figures are very encouraging indeed, signalling good news for Scottish jobs, the economy and those looking for warm, sustainable homes across all forms of tenure.
“Clearly, initiatives such as Help to Buy (Scotland), which has already received over 1200 applications in just a few months, and the MI New Home 95% mortgage indemnity scheme, which has generated around £100m of sales activity, have had a major impact on the ability of people to buy.
“The challenge now is to ensure that this increased activity in the housing market is sustained so that it translates into the building of the many thousands of new homes needed in Scotland.
“Unfortunately, however, this is not as simple as turning on a tap. Whilst our members are rising to the challenge of building more homes in response to the significant recent upturn in consumer demand, the economic downturn has had a devastating impact in terms of industry capacity meaning any recovery must start from a very low base.
“It is therefore imperative that major supply-side issues such as development finance, land supply and skills shortages be addressed if output is to increase to the levels required.”