Concern St Andrews house prices are pushing out locals

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An MSP has warned that rising house prices are pushing local people out of St Andrews and the East Neuk.

Fife MSP Mark Ruskell described the housing crisis in the area as “acute” and said that “communities are being displaced by holiday homes”.

His comments came after independent property consultant Galbraith revealed that premium are selling well in Fife, noting a 17.6 per cent rise in the number of properties priced at £500,000 or above being sold in the area.

George Lorimer, who handles property sales and lettings in Fife, described St Andrews, Cupar and the East Neuk as “hot spots”.

He added: “Part of the reason is that the strength of the market in St Andrews pushes up demand – and prices – in neighbouring areas. The East Neuk has always been a popular seaside destination but now it is increasingly fashionable, with great independent bars, shops and restaurants. Cupar is also a really lovely place to live and, like the East Neuk, benefits from some lovely traditional architecture and appealing house styles.”

The figures were not welcomed by Mr Ruskell, who noted that there were more than 2300 homelessness applications in the Kingdom last year, but that just 665 new homes for social rent were completed.

The Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said “These figures show a housing sector which is completely out of touch with most people’s housing needs in Fife.

“Local people are being pushed out by inflated prices like these.”

Mr Ruskell added: “Our communities are being displaced by increasingly lavish holiday homes which sit empty for much of the year – that’s not something we should be celebrating.”