DEMAND for single-bedroom properties in East Lothian is outstripping supply, as a survey found that one in three residents said they wanted to live on their own.

The waiting list for a one-bedroom council property in the county’s biggest town, Musselburgh, is said to have 400 applicants on it.

And the consultation revealed that single-person households were expected to be the most common type in the county in the future.

The snapshot of residents was carried out as part of East Lothian Council’s Local Housing Strategy development.

It revealed that there was concern over the demand for one-bedroom properties, which had an impact on the numbers living in B&Bs and temporary accommodation, with homeless applicants more likely to be single-person households.

And it said that there was also concern about a lack of large, affordable homes available, with bigger families struggling to find houses with enough bedrooms.

'Challenges faced'

The survey also found that nearly half of young people – those aged under 30 – who took part said they were living with a parent or carer, with older people voicing concern that the younger generation could not afford to get on the property ladder or even rent.

A report on the survey results, which went before the council’s cabinet this week, said: “First-time buyers spoke of the challenges faced due to the cost of buying a home.

“Single-person households, which are predicted to be the most common household type in the county, considered buying in the area as being further out of reach.”

The report acknowledged the need for a better mix of housing to be made available to residents, for affordable homes of different sizes to be made available, and for an increase in mid-market housing.

It said: “As part of sustainable living, local residents need to have choice and opportunities to find affordable homes where they would like to live.

“The Local Housing Strategy (LHS) recognises that a mixture of different tenures – i.e. homeownership, private and social rented homes – is crucial to widen such opportunities.”

And it said that concerns over the number of short-term lets (STLs) in the county would also be addressed in the new strategy, with plans for a report on the introduction of control areas due to be produced by officers this year.

It said: “The LHS recognises that in some cases there are benefits to STLs and any position taken will look at the economic benefits for the tourism sector, short-term accommodation for seasonal workers and the need for housing.

“The LHS supports the long-term letting of properties where possible. It is important that any stance the council takes is robust and credible.

“Therefore, monitoring and collecting data to properly evidence any pressures will be central to any decisions that are made.”