Thursday, 4 August 2016

Penicuik’s population set to rise to 17,900 by 2036

Penicuik faces a predicament - the population is growing and the provision of new housing isn’t keeping up. With the average age of a Penicuik person being 41.3 years (compared to the Midlothian average of 40.6 years old and the national average of 40.4 years of age), the population of Penicuik is growing at an alarming rate. This is due to an amalgamation of longer life expectancy, a fairly high birth rate (compared to previous decades) and net immigration, all of which contribute to housing shortages and burgeoning house prices.

And the population is going to continue to increase.  Using data provided by the National Records of Scotland, I forecast that the Penicuik population will grow as follows:
  • 2016 population           16,337
  • 2021 population           16.760
  • 2026 population           17,210
  • 2031 population           17.607
  • 2036 population           17,895

The normal ratio of people to property is 2 to 1 in the UK, which therefore means that we need just over 800 additional new properties to be built in Penicuik over the next 20 years.

Whilst focusing on population growth does not tackle the housing crisis in the short term in Penicuik, it has a fundamental role to play in long-term housing development and strategy in the town. The rise of Penicuik property values over the last six years since the credit crunch is primarily a result of a lack of properties coming onto the market, a lack of new properties being built in the town and rising demand (especially from landlords looking to buy property to rent them out to the growing number of people wanting to live in Penicuik but can’t buy or rent from the Council).

Although many are talking about the need to improve supply (ie the building of new properties), the issue of accumulative demand from population growth is often overlooked. Nationally, the proportion of 25-34 year olds who own their own home has dropped dramatically from 66.7% in 1987 to 43.8% in 2014, whilst 78.2% of over 65’s own their own home. Longer life expectancies mean houses remain in the same hands for longer.

In the short to medium term, demand for a roof over one’s head will continue to grow in Penicuik (and Scotland as a whole). In the short term, that demand can only be met from the private rental sector (which is good news for homeowners and landlords alike as that keeps house prices higher).

In the long term though, local and national Government and the UK population as a whole, need to realise these additional people over the next 20 years need to live somewhere. Only once this issue starts to get addressed, in terms of extra properties being built in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, can we all help create a socially ecological prosperous future for everyone.

If you want to discuss any property matters, come and see me for a chat - my office is at 6 Bank Street, Penicuik.  Alternatively, you can either email me on or call us on 01968 674601.

A few more interesting articles about the Penicuik property market: