Annual Housing Statistics, 2020-21

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The latest compendium annual housing statistics have been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

This release covers annual statistics up to the financial year 2020-21 on total new housing supply in Scotland across all sectors, along with information on various elements of local authority housing such as stock, lettings, evictions and housing lists. Latest stock by tenure estimates are also included, although these cover the period up to 31 March 2020 due to the time periods of the available source data.

The publication incorporates figures covering the latest two years since the previous annual housing statistics were last published in September 2019, with the subsequent publications having been delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19 on data provision and staff resourcing. The figures presented for 2020-21 will reflect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting levels of housing supply and various aspects of local authority housing across this period.

The statistics show that:

  • Newly collected figures from local authorities show that there were 452 all-sector net new housing dwellings from conversions in 2020-21, a decrease of 223 homes (33%) on the 675 net new dwellings in 2019-20, with levels of conversions activity in 2020-21 being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Total new housing supply in 2020-21 was 15,360 homes, based on combining the newly collected figures on net conversions with previously published figures on all-sector new housebuilding completions and affordable housing supply rehabilitations. This is a decrease of 7,687 homes (33%) on the 23,047 homes in 2019-20, and is the first annual decrease in total new housing supply since 2012-13, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across different types of housing supply activity.
  • As reported on in previous quarterly housing statistics releases, the financial year 2020-21 saw decreases in completions for housing association new builds by 1,840 homes (44%), private-led new builds by 5,344 homes (33%), local authority new builds by 57 homes (4%), and refurbishments by 223 homes (67%). However, the more recent 12-month period to June 2021 has seen an increase of 1,751 homes (10%) in all-sector new housebuilding completions compared with the previous year.
  • As at 31 March 2020 there were an estimated 2.6 million dwellings in Scotland, with an estimated 58% of dwellings being owner-occupied, 4% being vacant or second homes, 15% being private rented or where the household is living rent free, and 23% being social rented properties.
  • As at 31 March 2021 there were a total of 318,369 local authority dwellings, an increase of 1,461 (0.5%) on the 316,908 dwellings in 2020, and the third consecutive annual increase in local authority stock since 2018. Separate figures from the Scottish Housing Regulator show that housing association stock increased by 1,539 (0.5%) to 292,951 dwellings over the year to 31 March 2021, which results in total social sector housing stock of 611,320 dwellings as at 31 March 2021, compared to 608,320 dwellings in the previous year.
  • Local authorities reported 9,813 units of vacant stock as at 31 March 2021, an increase of 18% (1,482 units) on the 8,331 units in the previous year, with some of this increase likely to have been due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • During 2020-21 there were 19,630 permanent local authority lettings made, a decrease of 6,376 lets (25%) compared with the previous year, with the total number of lets made likely to have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
  • There were 32 local authority tenancy terminations (evictions and abandonments) in 2020-21, a decrease from the 1,151 terminations in 2019-20 due to restrictions on evictions brought in due to COVID-19 legislation.
  • As at 31 March 2021, 178,260 applications were recorded on local authority or common housing register housing lists, an 8% increase on the 164,946 applications recorded in 2020, with the figure in the latest year likely to have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a reduction in the overall number of local authority lets during 2020-21.
  • There were 14,862 houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licences in force as at 31 March 2021, with more than 90% accounted for by six local authorities – Aberdeen City, Dundee City, City of Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow City, and Stirling.
  • In 2020-21, 4,516 scheme of assistance grants were paid to private home owners, a 42% decrease (or 3,207 fewer grants) than 2019-20. Scheme of Assistance grants totalled £18.5 million, which is around £8 million less than in 2019-20.


Read the full statistical publication

This is an annual publication which brings together newly collected figures from local authorities on council housing stock and housing management, with previously published figures on new housebuilding and affordable housing supply. It also includes figures from other sources, such as housing association stock levels from the Scottish Housing Regulator, with the aim of producing a comprehensive summary of housing statistics in Scotland.

Background information including Excel tables and explanatory information on data sources and quality can be found in the Housing Statistics webpages.


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