Quarterly Housing Statistics to end December 2023

An Accredited Official Statistics Publication for Scotland. 

The latest housebuilding statistics have been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

New Housebuilding

There were 20,992 all-sector new build home completions and 16,017 starts in Scotland during 2023 (calendar year). There were fewer homes completed (2,701 fewer; 11% decrease) and started (5,009 fewer, 24% decrease) in 2023 than in 2022.

Private sector starts at 12,752 homes, were at the lowest level since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted housebuilding through health protection restrictions, before this, 2013 was the lowest number.

Housing association new build starts (2,073 homes) in 2023 were at the lowest number since 1988. It is important to remember that before April 2018, approvals are used in the place of housing association starts as a better-quality indicator.  Local authority starts (1,192 homes) in 2023 were at the lowest number since 2013.

Fewer new build homes were completed and started across the private and social sector in 2023 compared with 2022. Private sector house completions decreased by 9% (1,449 homes), housing association completions decreased by 12% (534 homes) and local authority completions decreased by 30% (718 homes). House starts decreased in the private sector by 20% (3,258 homes), as well as in local authority led starts (49% decrease; 1,152 homes) and housing association starts (22% decrease, 599 homes).

When comparing Quarter 4 of 2023 to Quarter 4 of 2022, there were decreases in the number of new housebuilding starts through the private sector (8% decrease; 254 fewer homes) and housing associations (16% decrease; 62 fewer homes). Whereas local authority led starts increased by 9% (35 additional homes).

There were also quarterly decreases compared to the previous year in new housebuilding completions led by the private sector (12% decrease, 582 fewer homes) and housing associations (35% decrease; 447 fewer homes) but a 28% increase in local authority led completions (105 additional homes).


Affordable Housing Supply Programme

Affordable Housing Supply Programme statistics reflect the broader supply of affordable homes for social rent, affordable rent, and affordable home ownership, and include off the shelf purchases and rehabilitations as well as new builds.

In 2023 (calendar year), there were 6,239 approvals, 6,046 starts, and 9,680 completions of affordable homes.

When comparing 2023 with 2022, decreases were reported in affordable housing supply approvals (316 homes, 5% decrease), starts (1,546 homes, 20% decrease), and completions (493 homes, 5% decrease). It should be noted that completions in 2022 were the highest on record, and the 2023 figures are comparable to 2019 (1% higher; before the pandemic impacted housing building) and 2021 (1% higher).

Affordable housing supply approvals were the lowest since 2012, starts were the lowest since 2013 and completions were the lowest since 2021.

When comparing Quarter 4 of 2023 to Quarter 4 of 2022, approvals increased by 5% (60 homes), starts decreased by 20% (257 homes) and completions decreased by 33% (903 homes).

These statistics are used to inform progress against Scottish Government affordable housing delivery targets. The ambition is to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be for social rent and 10% will be in remote, rural and island communities. There has been a total of 17,619 affordable homes completed between 23 March 2022 and 31 December 2023 towards the target of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, consisting of 13,483 (77%) homes for social rent, 2,126 (12%) for affordable rent, and 2,010 (11%) for affordable home ownership.



Quarterly Housing Statistics March 2024.

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

Official statistics are produced in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.


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