Housing statistics 2016: key trends summary

Summary of the key trends in the housing statistics for 2016.

Key Findings for 2015-16

Housing Supply (Private and Public Sector)

  • New housing supply: New housing supply (new build, refurbishment and conversions) decreased by 82 homes (0.5%) between 2014-15 and 2015-16, from 17,077 to 16,995 units. - Private-led new builds increased by 408 homes (3%), rehabilitations increased by 233 homes (104%) and conversions increased by 40 homes (6%), whilst housing association new builds decreased by 744 homes (24%) and local authority new builds decreased by 19 homes (2%).
  • New house building: In 2015-16, 15,854 new build homes were completed in Scotland, a decrease of 355 homes (2%) on the 16,209 completions in the previous year. During the same time-period the number of homes started rose by 664 homes (4%) from 16,246 to 16,910, the highest annual number of starts since 2008-09.
  • Affordable housing: (As previously reported on 14 June): In 2015-16, there were 6,518 units completed through all Affordable Housing Supply Programme ( AHSP) activity, a decrease of 551 units (8%) on the previous year. Approvals increased by 1,648 units (26%) in the latest year to reach 7,945 in 2015-16, and starts increased by 1,041 units (16%) to reach 7,682. Throughout the period of the Scottish Government target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes including 20,000 social rented homes and 5,000 council homes between 2011-12 and 2015-16, a total of 33,490 units were completed. Of which 22,523 were for social rent (including 5,992 council homes), 3,473 were for affordable rent, and 7,494 were for affordable home ownership.

Local Authority Housing

  • Local authority housing stock: At 31 st March 2016, there were 316,553 local authority dwellings in Scotland, a small decrease of 452 units (0.1%) from the previous year.
  • Sales of local authority dwellings: Sales of public authority dwellings (including local authorities with total stock transfers) rose by 14% in 2015-16, from 1,835 to 2,088. This is the third consecutive annual increase after years of declining numbers of sales. The increases are likely to be due to the announcement in 2013 that right to buy was to be ended for all tenants.
  • Vacant stock: At 31 st March 2016, local authorities reported 6,181 units of vacant stock, of which 37% consisted of normal letting stock. This represents 1% of all normal letting stock, and is down from 6,515 the previous year.
  • Lettings: During 2015-16 there were 26,258 permanent lettings made, a decrease of 3% compared to 27,006 lettings in the previous year. Lets to homeless households represented 38% of all lets made by local authorities in 2015-16, a total of 9,913 lettings to homeless households, which is a decrease of 5% on the 10,390 lettings in 2014-15.
  • Evictions: Eviction actions against local authority tenants resulted in 1,300 evictions or abandoned dwellings in 2015-16 (859 evictions, 441 abandoned dwellings). This is up by 7%, or 85 actions of evictions or abandonments, on the 1,215 in 2014-15.
  • Housing lists: Household applications held on local authority or common housing register lists decreased by 5% or 8,211 households to 167,122 at March 2016, the eighth consecutive annual decrease.

Local Authority Housing Assistance and Licensing

  • Scheme of assistance: There were 10,753 scheme of assistance grants paid to householders in 2015-16, 1,527 (17%) more than in 2014-15. Spend on scheme of assistance grants totalled £31.8 million, £2.3 million (8%) more than in 2014-15. The majority of grants in 2015-16 were for disabled adaptions, 6,482 grants totalling £23.1 million.
  • Houses in multiple occupation: In 2015-16, 8,852 applications were received in respect of the mandatory licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation. At 31 st March 2016 there were 15,034 licences in force, representing an increase of 1% over the previous year.


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