HOUSEBUILDING supports more than 80,000 jobs across Scotland and contributes around £570 million to government finances annually, a study has found.

However, industry leaders said the sector could deliver much more in terms of badly-needed homes and wider social and economic benefits with the right support.

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The findings of a report on the value of residential development for industry body Homes For Scotland highlight the role the sector plays as a key driver of the economy in Scotland.

It found that every home built supports 4.1 jobs when the impact on the wider supply chain is taken into account.

The sector also contributes to the heath of the economy in areas such as the provision of training and apprenticeships and the encouragement of labour market mobility.

Receipts under headings ranging from Corporation to Land and Buildings Tax combined with contributions made by housebuilders towards the cost of building local facilities provide a big boost to the public finances.

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Homes for Scotland chief executive Nicola Barclay noted the report highlighted other contributions made by housebuilders, such as the regeneration of areas of deprivation.

She added: “What it also shows, however, is that we still aren’t building at the level required to meet housing need and demand and to unlock the broader benefits this would offer.”

Produced by property firm Rettie the report found: “Home building in Scotland, and in the wider UK, is significantly below historic levels and much lower than the numbers required.”

Around 25,000 home were built in Scotland annually before the recession triggered by the global financial crisis, against 20,000 currently. The report noted: “It is estimated that a return to 2007 levels of home building would create 20,000 new jobs.”