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High Level Summary of Statistics: Key Trends for Scotland 2006

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11. Housing

Stock and Tenure

New Build

Scottish builders are currently building between 23,000 and 24,000 houses per year and have sustained new building at over 20,000 houses per year since the early 1990s. Over the past 10 years the total stock of houses in Scotland has been increasing by around 19,000 houses per year (new building minus houses demolished). A key feature of house building in Scotland over the last 60 years has been the sustained growth in private new building, which now accounts for around 80% of all new building.

New house building by sector (Scotland) 1996-2005 imaeg

Source: Scottish Executive Housing Statistics

Publication
Housing trends in Scotland: quarter ending 31 December 2005 (Published 2006)

Tenure

A combination of the high and growing proportion of private sector new building and Right to Buy sales has dramatically changed tenure patterns in Scotland. Between 1981 and 2004 owner occupation increased from 36% to 66%, while social renting decreased from 54% to 26%.

Estimated stock of dwellings by tenure (Scotland) 1984 to 2004 image

Source: Scottish Executive Housing Statistics

Publication
Housing trends in Scotland: quarter ending 31 December 2005 (Published 2006)

Housing Market

Although not as acute as elsewhere in the UK, Scotland has experienced a marked upswing in average house prices since 2000. There are real problems of affordability in some areas, particularly for potential first-time buyers who may find the costs of owner-occupation prohibitive. More recently, there has been some indication that the market is easing off and the proportion of first time buyers is beginning to pick up.

Mix adjusted house prices, number of loans and first time buyers (Scotland) 1995-2005 image

Source: Scottish Executive Housing Statistics

Publication
Housing trends in Scotland: quarter ending 31 December 2005 (Published 2006)

Quality

Dampness and Condensation

Successive Scottish House Condition Surveys show that the number of homes suffering from condensation or dampness has fallen, but 73% of local authority housing, 64% of housing association housing and 70% of private sector housing falls short of the new Scottish Housing Quality Standard, and 41% of houses have some urgent disrepair.

Dwellings with dampness (Scotland) 1991 to 2002 image

Dwellings with condensation (Scotland) 1991 to 2002 image

Source: Community Scotland, Scottish House Condition Survey

Fuel Poverty

Central heating is an important factor in reducing the incidence of damp and condensation, resulting in improved health and comfort for occupants, as well as enhanced energy efficiency of the dwelling. The proportion of dwellings with full central heating has risen from 62% in 1991 to 86% in 2002. Fuel poverty fell sharply between 1996 and 2002 mainly due to increased income, with single adults and older households most likely to be fuel poor. The latest information from the Continuous Scottish House Condition Survey shows a small increase, from 13% of households fuel poor in 2002 to 14.5% in 2003-04.

Change in fuel poverty (Scotland) 1996 to 2002 image

Fuel poor households by household type (Scotland) 2002 image

Source: Community Scotland, Scottish House Condition Survey

Web link
Scottish House Condition Survey

Perceptions of Neighbourhood

Improving housing quality is part of a wider investment in building attractive and sustainable communities, and enhancing the opportunities and quality of life for those who live in them. Delivering these outcomes is especially challenging in Scotland's most deprived areas - those ranked in the most deprived 15% identified in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2004. There is some indication that perceptions of neighbourhood are becoming somewhat less negative over time for these areas. However, while the most deprived areas are similar to the rest of Scotland in terms of what residents like about them, there are stark differences in terms of what they dislike, with much greater dissatisfaction with quality of life issues such as the local environment, vandalism and the behaviour of young people.

Perception of neighbourhood as fairly/very poor place to live (Scotland) 1999-2004 image

Aspects of neighbourhood particularly liked (Scotland): 2004 image

Aspects of neighbourhood particularly liked (Scotland): 2004 image

Source: Scottish Household Survey

Web link
Scottish Household Survey

Homelessness

Applications and Assessments

The number of people applying to local authorities as homeless has risen significantly since new duties were placed on authorities in autumn 2002 to provide temporary accommodation for all applicants assessed as homeless. The rise in the number of people applying since 2001-02 is due to an increase in the number of single people applying. These are the people primarily affected by the new legislation who would not have had any rights to accommodation before the 2001 Housing Act. The numbers placed by local authorities in temporary accommodation under the homelessness legislation have also increased substantially since 2002 when local authorities began implementing their new duties. However, the more recent data indicate that the rate of increase in applications and numbers in temporary accommodation may be easing off.

Number of applications to local authorities under the Homeless Persons legislation (Scotland) 1994-95 to 2004-05 image

Source: Scottish Executive Housing Statistics

Number of households in temporary accommodation (Scotland):as at 31 March 1995 to 31 December 2005 image

Source: Scottish Executive Housing Statistics

Publication
Operation of the Homeless Persons legislation in Scotland (Published 2005)

Lets to Homeless

The percentage of lets to homeless people is a key indicator in measuring local authorities' capacity to respond to the 2012 target for the removal of the priority need test in homelessness legislation. While the number of local authority lets overall have been falling over the past couple of years, the proportion of lets to homeless have increased, with the latest figures confirming the observed upward trend: in 2005, 32% of all local authority lettings were to homeless households, compared to 26% for 2004.

Local authority lets to homeless (Scotland): 1994-05 to 2004-05 image

Source: Scottish Executive Housing Statistics
Note: Due to stock transfers, figures do not include Glasgow, Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders from 2003-04.

Publication
Operation of the Homeless Persons legislation in Scotland (Published 2005)