Housing statistics 2016: key trends summary

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

Stock by Tenure

(As previously reported in Housing Statistics for Scotland 2015 Key Trends Summary on 8 September 2015): In 1981, less than 40% of dwelling stock (0.72 million dwellings) was owner occupied. By 2000 this had risen to 63% (1.47 million) although the proportion has fallen again in the last few years so that, in 2014, 58% (1.47 million) of dwelling stock was owner occupied.

The statistics presented in this section are based on March 2014 because this is the latest available Scottish Household Survey ( SHS) dataset at the time of this publication. Updated stock by tenure figures for the year 2015 will be published on our web pages alongside this document, when the SHS 2015 is available in late September 2016.

The number of dwellings in Scotland has increased by 551,000 in the last 3 decades from 1.97 million in 1981 to 2.53 million in 2014. This has coincided with an increasing Scottish population and the increased prevalence of smaller households [2] .

During this period there have been significant changes in housing tenure. In 1981, less than 40% of dwelling stock (0.72 million dwellings) was owner occupied. By 2000, the number had more than doubled to 1.47 million and accounted for 63% of dwelling stock. In the last 6 years owner occupied stock has fallen from 62% (1.52 million) in 2008 to 58% (1.47 million) in 2014.

Two structural factors have contributed to the shift toward owner occupation: the introduction of the right to buy for public authority tenants in 1979 coupled with the decline of local authority new build, and the increased contribution of private sector house building.

The recent reduction in owner occupation has coincided with an increase in the number renting privately or living rent free from 10% (around 248,000 dwellings) in 2008 to 15% (around 375,000 dwellings) in 2014 ( Chart 6). This may have been partly caused by the economic downturn and the difficulty potential home owners have subsequently experienced in securing a mortgage.

Chart 6: Estimated stock of dwellings by tenure, 1981 to 2014

Chart 6: Estimated stock of dwellings by tenure, 1981 to 2014

Note the change in methodology from March 2001. Scottish Household Survey data is combined with dwelling counts of occupied and vacant property (National Records of SCotland data) to split privately owned stock into owner occupied, private rented and vacant. Social rented stock counts provided by local authorities and the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Local authority level tenure estimates are shown in Chart 7. The rate of owner occupation varies from 80% in East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire to 43% in Glasgow. In general, as expected, cities have lower owner occupation rates. The proportion of dwellings rented privately ranges from 6% in North Ayshire to 29% in Edinburgh, with cities tending to have higher levels. Levels of social renting range from 12% in East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire to 37% in West Dunbartonshire.

Chart 7: Tenure in Scotland by local authority 2014

Chart 7: Tenure in Scotland by local authority 2014

Link to tenure tables: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/KeyInfo

The Scottish Household Survey website presents information on housing stock by tenure. Chapter 3 on Housing contains tables on tenure of household by year and by household age group: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/16002/PublicationAnnual

Statistics on housing stock in the other UK nations can be found through the following link to the Department for Communities and Local Government website: http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/stockincludingvacants/livetables/


Email: Esther Laird, esther.laird@gov.scot

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